MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's note: The video above first aired on KARE 11 on Oct. 28, 2022.
A Brooklyn Park man has pled guilty to his role in a fraud scheme that authorities say siphoned $250 million in federal funds intended to feed hungry children during the pandemic.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that 43-year-old Liban Yasin Alishire admitted enrolling Community Enhancement Services and Lake Street Kitchen, two organizations he helped operate, as sites to provide meals to underserved kids via sponsorship by Feeding Our Future (FOF).
Prosecutors say Alishire admitted to submitting fraudulent invoices to collect reimbursement for serving meals to hundreds, even thousands of children each day. He also falsified paperwork documenting the alleged purchase of food and rosters of children who received meals. Prosecutors said Community Enhancement Services and Lake Street Kitchen received more than $1 million in Federal Child Nutrition Program funds from Feeding Our Future.
In total, the U.S. Attorney's Office says Community Enhancement Services claimed to have served over 800,000 meals between February and October 2021, and Lake Street Kitchen claimed to have served over 70,000 meals between December 2020 and April 2021.
In reality, prosecutors say, Community Enhancement Services and Lake Street Kitchen served just a fraction of the meals that were submitted. They estimate Alishire claimed $2.4 million in federal money fraudulently, of which he obtained more than $712,000.
On Wednesday, Alishire appeared in U.S. District Court and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. He agreed to forfeit a resort on the Indian Ocean in Kenya, an apartment unit in Nairobi, his pickup and boat, and a $712,000 money judgment.
Liban Yasin Alishire will be sentenced at a later date.
In total, more than 50 people were charged in the Feeding Our Future Scheme.
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