12th defendant in Feeding our Future case pleads guilty to fraud

12th defendant in Feeding our Future case pleads guilty to fraud

12th defendant in Feeding our Future case pleads guilty to fraud

A 12th person associated with the sweeping investigation of “Feeding Our Future” has pleaded guilty to his role in what federal prosecutors call a $250 million dollar scheme to defraud the government of taxpayer dollars meant to help children in need.

Abdikadir Kadiye, 51, admitted to a charge of wire fraud on Thursday in federal court in Minneapolis.

Prosecutors say Kadiye fraudulently claimed to have served more than 100,000 meals from a site in Eden Prairie in just two months in 2021.

Kadiye also received reimbursement for meals served at other sites including one in Minneapolis by listing “fake names” of more than 2,000 children, according to court records.

As part of the plea agreement, Kadiye is also forfeiting a $105,000 BMW as well as commercial and residential property.

At the Park Square Condominiums in south Minneapolis, where Kadiye claimed to live, several people say he was well-known in the Somali community.

“I remember he used to come over here in a van and he used to set up the van to distribute food,” said one man who asked not to be identified. “He might have fed about 50 people.”

Kadiye is the twelfth defendant to plead guilty out of 60 charged in the last year. His attorney has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota declined to comment about the latest guilty plea on Friday, but former U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald, who has also worked as a defense attorney and a judge, explained the significance of the recent developments.

“You’re watching not only for who is pleading, but to what they are pleading. And also whether it’s any indication that they are cooperating with the government,” MacDonald said. “You’ll see a wide range of culpability. Individuals who are at the bottom of the conspiracy or individuals at the top of the conspiracy.”

Charges are still pending against the former executive director of Feeding Our Future Aimee Bock.

Her attorney, Kenneth Udoibok, points out that none of the other people charged in Bock’s case have agreed to plea deals.

“There is no evidence so far, about a year after she was indicted, over a year of investigation… that she knew about the alleged fraudulent activity,” Udoibok said. “If anyone can come forward to me or the government, presenting evidence that Ms. Bock collected kickbacks in exchange for participating in the food program, I will recommend that she change the direction of this defense.”

If Bock goes to trial, court records indicate that may not happen until late next year.

Two more defendants have “change of plea” hearings scheduled for next week.