adplus-dvertising
World

46 Somalis Charged in $250 Million COVID Fraud

(Somali women on the street in media reel, unrelated to arrests.)

There are some frauds so massively insane that Americans won’t do them. Someone has to.

I covered this story back in the winter, relying on the important work of local reporters like Bill Glahn at the American Experiment. The story is mind-blowing for the sheer scale of the fraud.

In 2019, Feeding Our Future distributed $3.4 million in taxpayer food aid funds to the non-profits it was sponsoring, In 2020, that shot up to $42 million and then up to $197 million in 2021.

These were impressive numbers for a charity that seemed to focus on Somalis in Minnesota.

Glahn in American Experiment found that, “Feeding Our Future had 312 authorized sites for the program, approved for a maximum of 126,000 children.” That’s a lot of hungry Somali kids.

And I really mean impressive.

Safari Restaurant, which boasts “traditional Somali cuisine” like french fries and safari chicken quesadilla, where Rep. Ilhan Omar had celebrated her victory party, applied to participate in the Federal Child Nutrition program.

When the money was denied, Feeding Our Future complained that “minority-owned businesses serving almost exclusively economically disadvantaged children of color” were being denied the right to serve “culturally relevant foods” to “youth” during a “national emergency”.

Crying racism worked and at its peak, Safari claimed to be feeding 6,000 children a day. That’s a lot of children. Documents note that the Somali eatery claimed to be serving a comparable number of meals to “the entire St. Paul public school district.”

Safari was just one of the many providers who claimed to be feeding thousands of children.

There’s an Ilhan Omar angle and a Mecca angle.

The Feds staked out various Feeding Our Future meal sites and found no one at the places that were supposed to be feeding 50,000 children. According to the FBI, the money being stolen wasn’t used to feed children, it went into various shell companies and fronts operated by Somalis and was used to buy everything from a Porsche to African properties.

According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, S&S Catering led by Qamar Ahmed Hassan received $13.8 million in federal funds. The FBI warrants note that, “Qamar Ahmed Hassan wrote approximately $27,000 in checks from S&S Catering bank accounts… to Amax Travel, a travel agency that specializes in Haji travel packages.”

Now the official federal indictments of 47 people are in: 46 of them Somalis.

The Department of Justice announced today federal criminal charges against 47 defendants for their alleged roles in a $250 million fraud scheme that exploited a federally-funded child nutrition program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A key element in the fraud was crying racism. Some politicians came forward to back them up. And there are questions as to what extent politicians, especially those catering to Somalis, helped enable it.

The accused Somalis donated to a variety of politicians, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, State Senator Omar Fateh, Shukri Olow, running for state representative, State Rep. Hodan Hassan, a Keith Ellison crony, and others.

Rep. Ilhan Omar has made government meals for children into one of her signature issues.

Back to top button