Well-known journalist in Somali community indicted in Feeding our Future case

By – Lou Raguse / KARE 11

MINNEAPOLIS — Another suspect in the Feeding our Future meal fraud made his first court appearance Friday afternoon at the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis.

Mohamed Muse Noor was arrested last month at the Chicago O’Hare airport before he could board a flight to Turkey.

Noor is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering. The indictment says he claimed to serve 580,000 meals to children in a five month span.

Noor — also known as Deeq Darajo — is a prominent journalist in Minnesota’s Somali community and owner of Xogmaal Media Group.

And now, he is one of 50 people charged in the largest pandemic fraud in the United States.

The way his case is laid out in court documents makes it among the easiest to follow how federal investigators believe the scheme worked.

The documents say Noor registered his media company with the state in November 2020 and the next month allegedly applied to be a federal child nutrition program meal site under the sponsorship of Feeding our Future.

According to court documents, Feeding our Future Executive Director Aimee Bock sent an email in February 2021 asking her staff to get Xogmaal Media started as a food site.

The next day an unnamed Feeding our Future worker emailed Bock, writing: “We took a lot of organizations that don’t work with children… Xogmaal is a TV show program. They have no interest with children. These are the things we need to clean up.”

Bock allegedly responded “yes, I agree” — but then Feeding our Future wrote the media company checks totaling $494,000.

Court documents show Noor then wrote checks totaling $387,000 in alleged kickbacks to companies run by Feeding our Future worker Abdikerm Eidleh

The meal counts submitted by the “after-school” program allegedly run by Xogmaal media claimed to feed between a thousand to 1500 children per day — but investigators write Noor used the federal money instead to pay his mortgage and to buy cryptocurrency and jewelry.

Noor is represented by attorney Jason Steck, whose clients include three other defendants in the Feeding our Future case.

Although Steck would not comment on Noor’s case, he answered questions concerning the federal investigation after Noor’s court hearing. Steck said not all of the people indicted are guilty.

“With regard to at least some of the cases, I will say that the government has confused co-conspirators with victims. And some of the people working at Feeding our Future weren’t just scamming the government and the Department of Education. They were also scamming their so-called distributors and vendors beneath them as well. And when the evidence all comes out, that will become very, very clear,” Steck said.

None of the defendants represented by Steck worked for Feeding our Future but are accused of conspiring with the nonprofit.

Source – KARE 11