Faribault pair confesses to mind-boggling $5 million scam in Feeding Our Future initiative

Faribault Pair Confesses To Mind-boggling $5 Million Scam In Feeding Our Future Initiative

Wednesday June 7, 2023:

The nefarious actions of a Faribault couple have left the nation in disbelief, as they submitted fraudulent paperwork claiming to provide meals for thousands of underprivileged children per day. In a flagrant effort to misappropriate more than $5 million in government funds, Mohamed Ali Hussein and Lul Bashir Ali have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection to the Feeding Our Future scheme.

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Their participation in the $250 million scheme designed to provide nutrition to children during the COVID-19 pandemic exhibits a shocking level of deception and greed, as their companies, Lido Restaurant and Somali American Faribault Education (SAFE), enrolled in the Federal Child Nutrition Program. However, after enrolling, the couple submitted bloated invoices and falsified documentation for reimbursement, claiming to be feeding thousands of children daily.

According to court documents, Lido Restaurant had a contract to provide meals for Hussein’s SAFE site, yet the couple submitted fraudulent claims seeking reimbursement for meals that Ali’s company did not even prepare. Allegations also indicate that Hussein paid over $100,000 in kickbacks to Feeding Our Future personnel in order to secure their sponsorship of Lido Restaurant and SAFE.

Further evidence revealed Hussein’s company allegedly provided over 1.2 million meals to children in ten months in 2021, totaling $2.1 million in Federal Child Nutrition Program funds. Ali’s company also claimed to have served 700,000 meals to children over the course of 11 months between 2020 and 2021 for an astonishing $2.9 million in federal funds.

The couple has agreed to pay restitution of more than $5 million, however, a sentencing date has not yet been set. Shockingly, sixty individuals have been federally charged in connection to the Feeding Our Future scheme, which prosecutors consider the largest pandemic-related fraud in the country and one of the most significant federal fraud cases ever brought in Minnesota, with charges including federal programs bribery, wire fraud, and money laundering. Numerous defendants have already entered guilty pleas.

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