MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A 49th person has been charged in connection to the Feeding Our Future fraud scheme that took hundreds of millions of dollars from the Federal Child Nutrition Program during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mohamed Muse Noor was charged Monday, Sept. 26, in connection with what federal officials are calling the largest pandemic fraud in the country. Investigators on Sunday, Sept. 25, learned Noor booked a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, which was scheduled to depart Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at 8 a.m. on Monday. Noor has been arrested.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced last week charges against Feeding Our Future founder Aimee Bock and dozens of others that include conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and bribery. Authorities alleged the massive fraud scheme took at least $250 million from the Federal Child Nutrition Program — money that was intended to help feed children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Authorities allege money did not go to feeding children in need but instead went to buying houses, resort properties, luxury cars, jewelry, and other goods for the defendants.
Noor is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, with federal court documents saying Noor is the owner of Xogmaal Media Group, a company that fraudulently received and misappropriated Federal Child Nutrition Program funds, and the cousin of Abdikerm Abdelahi Eidleh, who is also charged in connection to the fraud scheme for receiving kickbacks from sites participating in the program under the sponsorship of Feeding Our Future.
Court records state Noor incorporated Xogmaal Media Group on Nov. 25, 2020, and soon after enrolled the company as a Federal Nutrition Program site under the sponsorship of Feeding Our Future. Noor and Bock signed and submitted a site application on behalf of Noor's company on Dec. 29, 2020. The application was approved and Bock told Feeding Our Future staff to set them up in the program.
According to court records, a Feeding Our Future employee expressed concern via email to Bock about Xogmaal Media Group and other sites having no connection to children, writing: "We took a lot of organization[s] that don't work with children or are advocate[s]. I am just realizing that now. For example, Xogmaal is a TV show program. They have no interest with children. These are the things we need to clean up." Bock replied, "Yes, I agree."
Xogmaal Media Group continued to participate in the program, with charging documents alleging Noor claimed Xogmaal Media Group was serving meals to 1,000 children a day within weeks of enrolling in the program. Noor claimed on an after-school meal count form to Feeding Our Future that the company served dinner and a snack to exactly 1,000 children a day, and claimed exactly 200 children requested meals after the food was gone each day.
In April 2021, Noor submitted meal count forms claiming Xogmaal Media Group site served dinner and a snack to 1,500 children a day, seven days a week, that month. Noor was identified as the site supervisor, and certified the meal count to be "true and accurate," documents allege. He claimed the site was serving 1,500 meals to children per day throughout the summer of 2021.
In an invoice dated May 31, 2021, Xogmaal Media Group claimed it was entitled to $285,975 in Federal Child Nutrition Program funds for having served 46,500 meals in May 2021.
In total, court documents allege Xogmaal Media Group received $494,316 in Federal Child Nutrition Program funds. Noor deposited the money into the Xogmaal Media Group bank account, with the nutrition program funds making up 95% of the total deposits in the account.
Bank records show the company used "little, if any, of this money" to buy food or provide meals, court documents said. Instead, Xogmaal Media Group "appears to have sent most of the money to shell companies owned by Eidleh." Noor paid more than $387,000 in Federal Child Nutrition Program funds from his company to entities controlled by his cousin in July 2021.
Eidleh did not use the money to provide food or meals to children in need. Instead, he used the money to fund his lifestyle and enrich himself, charges allege.
Eidleh is currently a fugitive who is believed to be living in Somalia, court documents state.