15th guilty plea recorded in the Feeding Our Future scandal
Filsan Hassan (Defendant No. 26 of 60 in the case) entered the 15th guilty plea in the scandal today in the Federal courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. Hassan, 29, was part…
Other nonprofit, free-food networks are implicated in the set of indictments announced by the U.S. Attorney Andy Luger last week.
This $250 million is the floor.
He also added that, “Our investigation continues.” What’s next for Luger after charging the first 48 people in the scandal? Clues may lie in the ten indictments filed last week.
Three large free-food networks were suspended by the state Department of Education (MDE), who oversees the Federal free-food programs in Minnesota. Here’s how much the three nonprofits took in over the years from the programs,
Feeding Our Future voted to dissolve the company earlier this year. The other two networks, Partners in Nutrition (d/b/a Partners in Quality Care) and Gar Gaar Family Services (d/b/a Youth Leadership Academy) are currently suing MDE for reinstatement to the program.
Two of the indictments filed last week (against Empire Cuisine and Haji’s Kitchen) mention a nonprofit identified as “Sponsor A” and the activities of a board member identified with the initials “J.S.”
In their recently-filed Federal lawsuit against MDE, Partners in Nutrition identifies themselves as “Sponsor A” and the board member as Julius Scarver, a former Partners employee (lawsuit, p. 20 paragraph 65 through p. 21 paragraph 70).
In the Empire Cuisine indictment, the Department of Justice (page 9 paragraph 29) describes how Scarver diverted $2.5 million from Partners to several of the defendants, while keeping a portion of the proceeds for himself. Scarver has not been charged in the case.
Among the figures charged in the Haji indictment is one Fahad Nur, the owner of The Produce LLC. The Department of Justice alleges that Nur’s company took nearly $10 million from the free food program, and that Nur himself has fled the country (p. 7 paragraph 20).
The company, The Produce LLC, pops up in litigation around the third network, Gar Gaar Family Services (GGFS). In a letter sent from MDE to Gar Gaar’s COO, Priya Morioka, the Department alleges (page 4) that,
GGFS paid $939,960.00 on 9/10/2021 to vendor “The Produce” for prior service. This vendor was not licensed to distribute food by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture until 9/22/2021.
Gar Gaar itself has not been named in any indictments or search warrants. The company is suing MDE in state court for reinstatement to the free-food program.
In 2022, Morioka donated $500 to Walz’ re-election campaign.
In 2021, Ali made political donations to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar ($2,800) and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison ($2,500).
Last summer, we went all over the state with our Off the Cliff tour. In it, we reviewed what had happened in the last legislative session in St. Paul. Among…
When lawmakers legalized marijuana last session, they also set aside tens of millions of tax dollars to subsidize the marijuana industry. The bill that legalized marijuana, HF 100, instructed the…
But you already knew that. Although he has not yet been charged in the Thanksgiving-eve fatal stabbing at an Edina bus stop, KSTP-5 has named the 32-year-old suspect in the…
Evan Ramstad at the Star Tribune wrote a great story highlighting the multitude of entirely foreseeable potholes that electric buses are hitting in towns across Minnesota. The piece is solid…
The legislature appropriates more money, the unions grab it for salaries, the school board cuts middle school band, and everyone blames the legislature for underfunding. Rinse and repeat.