Minneapolis crime spree heading into the new year
Despite all the talk about falling crime rates in the state’s largest city, we are ending the year on a bang. The latest incident to grab headlines was a shootout…
For those following at home, the links, key dates, and key events included below provide a road map to the story, as it has unfolded.
Not one person has been arrested or charged. The alleged scandal involves $445 million in federal money received by two networks of Minnesota nonprofits to provide free meals to children. Much of the money has yet to be accounted for.
Here is a list of dates with links to media reports on the story.
The fundraiser (now closed) raises almost $74,000. A total of 21 donors contribute to the campaign, 12 of them anonymously. Four of the names on the donor list match four names included in this Sahan Journal article citing owners of the suspect Safari Restaurant, who were also donors to the Mayor Frey re-election campaign (see below). The four donate a total of $24,000 to Feed Our Future II.
Feb. 21, 2022: The editor of Sahan Journal explains their continuing coverage of the affair.
Feb. 22, 2022: Willmar Radio looks into a local connection.
Feb. 23, 2022: David Fahrenhold of the New York Times was in Minneapolis on this date, reporting on the story. Both the Star Tribune and Sahan Journal cover the resignation of the head of Minneapolis’ housing authority, more fallout from the free food scandal.
Feb. 24, 2022: The nonprofit company Feeding Our Future announced that it has dissolved.
Feb. 26, 2022: The Star Tribune summarizes the case to date.
Feb. 27, 2022: The Star Tribune reports on free-food fraud at the national level.
Mar. 3, 2022: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison files to oversee the dissolution of the Feeding Our Future corporation. Sahan Journal retracts an article where they had mistaken one woman named Qamar Ahmed Hassan for another.
Mar. 4, 2022: The Star Tribune looks into the oversight of nonprofits by the Attorney General.
Mar. 5, 2022: The Star Tribune looks at the free-food effort in Willmar, Minnesota.
Mar. 8, 2022: The New York Times‘ David Fahrenthold writes about the alleged scandal.
Mar. 9, 2022: The nonprofit Youth Leadership Academy (aka Gar Gaar Family Services) is banned from participating in the free-food programs.
Mar. 11, 2022: Sahan Journal does an explainer on the rules and regulations for the programs.
Mar. 13, 2022: The Star Tribune reports on reactions within the Somali community to the alleged scandal.
Mar. 14, 2022: KSTP reports on some collateral damage from the shutdown of Partners in Nutrition.
Mar. 18, 2022: the Star Tribune follows up on the fired Minneapolis Mayor’s aide.
Mar. 24, 2022: KARE 11-TV does on introductory story to the alleged scandal.
Mar. 29, 2022: the Star Tribune reports on contacts between the office of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Aimee Bock of Feeding Our Future.
April 1, 2022: the Sahan Journal reports on the relationships between the two largest free-food nonprofits. MinnPost reports on a bill introduced by Republicans at the legislature that would curb some of the nonprofit abuses.
April 4, 2022: the Commissioner of the Department of Education testifies in front of the state Senate Education committee. Coverage from the Sahan Journal, the Star Tribune, and the West Central Tribune.
April 7, 2022: the Star Tribune reports on the appeal by Partners in Nutrition to lift the suspension imposed by the Department of Education.
April 13, 2022: the Star Tribune looks into efforts at the legislature to rein in government-supported nonprofits.
April 21, 2022: the FBI makes the first arrest in the case, charging a man with passport fraud. Coverage in the Sahan Journal, the Star Tribune, and the U.S. Attorney’s office. The FBI affidavit in the case.
May 14, 2022: the Star Tribune reports on how “Records show meals program was ripe for fraud in Minnesota.”
May 17, 2022: the Star Tribune reports that an appeals panel has overturned the suspension of Partners in Nutrition from the free food programs.
May 25, 2022: the Star Tribune reports that an appeals panel has overturned the suspension of Youth Leadership Academy from the Summer Food Service Program.
July 7, 2022: Partners in Nutrition files appeal of unpaid invoices at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
August 9, 2022: KSTP reports that one of the Empire Cuisine figures arrested for passport fraud has pled guilty.
Sept. 20, 2022: the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota indicts 47 people in the Feeding Our Future scandal. The indictment against Feeding Our Future CEO Aimee Bock can be found here. Empire Cuisine group indictment can be found here. S&S Catering indictment can be found here. The Haji Kitchen indictment can be found here. Lake Street Kitchen indictment can be found here. The Brava Restaurant (Rochester) indictment can be found here.
Sept. 22 2022: KARE 11 reports on the suspects that have fled the country. The Star Tribune reports on kickbacks and bribes within the Feeding Our Future network. WCCO reports on some of the donations made to local Democrats. The Pioneer Press reports on Gov. Walz push back against criticism of his administration’s handling of the scandal.
The Sahan Journal documents the close ties between indicted fraudsters and Minneapolis City Hall.
Sept. 24, 2022: The Star Tribune profiles Aimee Bock based on an interview conducted back in January.
Sept. 29, 2002: KARE 11 reports on political donations made by defendants in the case.
Oct. 3, 2022: The Star Tribune reports on new scrutiny given to free-food providers in the wake of the scandal and the expiration of pandemic rules waivers.
Oct. 4, 2022: Fox 9 reports on state Sen. Sandy Pappas’ efforts on behalf of a free-food charity. The Pioneer Press reports that a Federal judge turned down Partners in Nutrition’s request for reinstatement to the free-food programs.
Oct. 6, 2022: the Minnesota Reformer reports on a former Bernie Sanders campaign staffer’s role in the Feeding Our Future story.
Oct. 7, 2022: the Sahan Journal reports on Partners in Nutrition.
Oct. 11, 2022: the Minnesota Reformer reports on ties between Minneapolis city council member Jamal Osman and his wife to the scandal.
Oct. 13, 2022: the first three guilty pleas were entered in the case.
The Star Tribune reports on a nonprofit linked, indirectly, to a state representative.
Oct. 14, 2022: the Dept of Ed. denies latest appeal by Partners in Nutrition to be reinstated to the free-food program.
Oct. 19, 2022: the 50th person is indicted in the case.
Oct. 26, 2022: the 4th guilty plea is entered in the case.
Oct. 27, 2022: the Star Tribune questions why it took authorities two years to shut down the free-food fraud.
Nov. 4, 2022: a 5th guilty plea is entered in the case.
Nov. 9, 2022: Partners in Nutrition drops its Federal lawsuit against the Dept. of Ed. Three state-level lawsuits continue. MPR reports.
Mohamed Jama Ismail is sentenced to seven months in prison on the passport fraud charge.
Dec. 1, 2022: Youth Leadership Academy/Gar Gaar Family Services’ appeal is heard at the MN Court of Appeals. The Star Tribune reports.
Dec. 17, 2022: the Star Tribune reports on childcare and other businesses owned by figures indicted in the case who are still receiving millions of dollars in state subsidies.
Dec. 26, 2022: the Star Tribune reports on concerns from Minnesota’s nonprofit community about blowback from the Feeding Our Future scandal.
Dec. 27, 2022: Gov. Tim Walz proposes a package of items meant to prevent the next Feeding Our Future scandal.
Dec. 29, 2022: U.S. District court authorizes the sale of three forfeited properties in the case. MPR reports (last two paragraphs).
Jan. 7, 2023: the Star Tribune editorializes on the need for more state oversight of free-food programs.
Jan. 10, 2023: state Attorney General Keith Ellison sues the nonprofit ThinkTechAct.
Jan. 24, 2023: a sixth guilty plea is entered in the case.
Feb. 7, 2023: Dept. of Human Services shuts down two day cares associated with Feeding Our Future defendants. The Star Tribune reports.
Feb. 10, 2023: Dept. of Education bans Youth Leadership Academy/Gar Gar Family Services and four board members from the free-food programs.
Feb. 13, 2023: the court appeal of Youth Leadership Academy/Gar Gaar Family Services is denied.
Here is a partial list of incorporated companies linked to persons named in the FBI search warrants.
In Case You Missed It
Bill Glahn spoke to a live audience online about the Feeding Our Future fraud on Tuesday, September 13. He addressed the recent indictments, spoke about where the investigation is headed, and answered some burning questions.
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