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A man who claimed to serve more than 870,000 meals to needy children pleaded guilty Tuesday to his role in the Feeding Our Future fraud case.
Liban Yasin Alishire, 42, of Brooklyn Park, pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He was ordered to forfeit several assets, including an apartment in Kenya, the Karibu Palms Resort on the Indian Ocean in Kenya, a Ford F-150 pickup truck, a boat, and more than $700,000.
He is the sixth person to plead guilty in the sprawling investigation into federal food-aid fraud centered around the nonprofit Feeding Our Future, which received federal funds that it then distributed to smaller organizations who were supposed to use the money to feed underprivileged children.
The U.S. The Attorney’s Office has charged 50 people in the investigation.
Liban fraudulently claimed more than $2.4 million in federal Child Nutrition Program funds across two sites in Minnesota, according to court documents. In his guilty plea, he admitted to keeping $714,000 of those dollars for himself.
He registered two food distribution sites, Community Enhancement Services and Lake Street Kitchen. Community Enhancement Services claimed to serve more than 800,000 meals to children between February and October 2021. Lake Street Kitchen sought reimbursement for 70,000 meals between December 2020 and April 2021. Prosecutors say only a small fraction of meals were truly served.
Liban admitted to his roles in several facets of the fraud. He also siphoned federal funding from his food distribution company, Ace Distribution Services, which was the registered vendor for the Community Enhancement Services site. He controlled a shell company, Hoodo Properties, that prosecutors say laundered defrauded dollars.
In November 2021, Liban wired $216,000 from Hoodo Properties that went toward the purchase of the resort property on Diani Beach in Kenya.
His sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.