18th defendant pleads guilty in Feeding Our Future case

Feeding Our Future guilty plea

Feeding Our Future guilty plea

A woman charged in the sprawling Feeding Our Future fraud investigation has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Hoda Ali Abdi entered a guilty plea for one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud during her initial court appearance Wednesday. Prosecutors first charged her in February.

An affidavit states Abdi owned Alif Halal LLC, a grocery store in Burnsville. Through the store, Abdi participated in the Federal Child Nutrition Program as a food vendor and supplier for sites under a sponsorship. Feeding Our Future was one of the store’s sponsors, though Abdi also ran a Federal Child Nutrition Program site under another sponsor, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say that Abdi submitted fraudulent claims for both the grocery store and the nonprofit for reimbursement for food that was not actually purchased and served to children. Abdi claimed to have provided millions of dollars worth of food to children.

Feeding Our Future and its sponsored sites are accused of taking $250 million in federal funds meant to feed children and using it for personal gain.

To date, 70 people have been charged in what Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger has called the largest COVID-related fraud scheme in the country, and 18 defendants have now pleaded guilty to their crimes.