Two of the 48 people charged Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the Feeding Our Future food fraud investigation are from Eden Prairie.
In a Sept. 20 story, the Sahan Journal compiled the names of the people listed in six separate indictments (charging documents) and three criminal informations, another form of charging document, for their alleged roles in a $250 million scheme to defraud federal child nutrition programs.
While announcing the charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery, federal prosecutors called the scheme the country’s largest case of COVID-19 pandemic fraud.
Outlined in the charging documents, according to a DOJ press release, is how the defendants obtained, misappropriated, and laundered millions of dollars in program funds intended as reimbursements for the cost of serving meals to children. The defendants, the press release stated, exploited changes in the program intended to ensure underserved children received adequate nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was a brazen scheme of staggering proportions,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger. “These defendants exploited a program designed to provide nutritious food to needy children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, they prioritized their own greed, stealing more than a quarter of a billion dollars in federal funds to purchase luxury cars, houses, jewelry, and coastal resort property abroad.”
Hayat Mohamed Nur, 25, of Eden Prairie, was one of the eight people named in the indictment of United States v. Abdiaziz Shafii Farah, et al.
Nur is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, Nur participated in the scheme, according to the DOJ press release, by creating and submitting fraudulent meal count sheets, attendance rosters, and invoices.
Nur is the sister of Abdimajid Mohamed Nur, 21, of Shakopee, who is also named in the same indictment. He is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering.
According to the DOJ press release, Abdimajid Nur created Nur Consulting LLC to receive and launder federal child nutrition program funds from Empire Cuisine and Market, ThinkTechAct, and other entities involved in the scheme.
In addition, Hadith Yusuf Ahmed, 34, of Eden Prairie, was named in one of the three criminal informations. Ahmed is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
As the Sahan Journal story pointed out, none of the 48 people charged have been convicted of any crimes, and many have asserted their innocence directly or through their attorneys.
The Sahan Journal provided additional coverage Tuesday into the investigation, focusing on the indictment of Aimee Bock, the executive director of the now-defunct nonprofit Feeding Our Future.