Members of accused fraud ring have ties to Ilhan Omar

FrontPage Magazine has reported that a federal investigation has turned up a massive fraud ring, with some of the 47 suspects having ties to Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.

According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the scam involved stealing $250,000 worth of Federal Child Nutrition program funding and then investing the money in foreign countries. 

Defendants allegedly took advantage of COVID pandemic

A DOJ press release put out on Tuesday states the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) waived some of its standard requirements in the program.

This included permitting for-profit restaurants to participate as well as allowing “off-site food distribution to children outside of educational programs.”

The indicted individuals are said to have “fraudulently claimed to be serving meals to thousands of children a day” while also creating “shell companies to receive and launder the proceeds of their fraudulent scheme.”

“These indictments, alleging the largest pandemic relief fraud scheme charged to date, underscore the Department of Justice’s sustained commitment to combating pandemic fraud and holding accountable those who perpetrate it,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland declared.

“In partnership with agencies across government, the Justice Department will continue to bring to justice those who have exploited the pandemic for personal gain and stolen from American taxpayers,” he added.

FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke up as well, saying, “Today’s indictments describe an egregious plot to steal public funds meant to care for children in need in what amounts to the largest pandemic relief fraud scheme yet.”

“The defendants went to great lengths to exploit a program designed to feed underserved children in Minnesota amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudulently diverting millions of dollars designated for the program for their own personal gain,” Wray insisted.

Some defendants tied to Rep. Ilhan Omar

FrontPage Magazine noted that among those to be charged are the owners of Safari Restaurant, a Somali eatery located in Minneapolis.

Rep. Ilhan Omar celebrated her Democratic primary win in 2018 at Safari Restaurant, and the conservative watchdog group American Experiment pointed to Federal Election Commission records showing that her campaign paid the establishment 12 times between 2018 and 2020.

What’s more, Frontpage Magazine stated that some of the accused “donated to a variety of politicians” including Omar.