5/17/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
A new report out of Minneapolis shows nearly half of all child care subsidies in Minnesota are leaving the country, in one of the worst cases of welfare fraud in U.S. history.
In fact, officials estimate the fraud committed within Minnesota’s Somali community totals upwards of $100-Million annually.
That is tax money, paid by hardworking Americans, intended to make daycare more affordable, but is instead being shipped to the Middle East and Africa.
The fraud is so widespread, Somalis in the Twin Cities widely consider opening a daycare to be, “a license to print money.”
However, this problem isn’t exclusive to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Our Pine Tree State has experienced more than our fair share of fraud perpetrated by so-called, “new Mainers.”
Most recently, in Maine’s own Twin Cities, two Somali interpreters have been charged with healthcare fraud to the tune of at least $30,000. Abdirashid Ahmed, 38, of Lewiston and Garat Osman, 32, of Auburn are accused of scamming MaineCare for at least the past two years.
Investigators say the Somali interpreters referred MaineCare beneficiaries to a health care provider and offered interpreting services. The provider was not named.
According to the indictment, Ahmed and Osman conspired to defraud MaineCare by billing for interpreting services they did not perform. They would submit bills to MaineCare overcharging for services they never provided and then would be reimbursed by MaineCare. Of course, MaineCare is funded by hardworking Mainers.
The charges carry a possible sentence for each of up to 10-Years in prison, with three additional years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, they each could also be held responsible for paying restitution. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile, dozens of Somalis showed up in court to support the two fraud suspects. Is it possible the Somali community in Maine’s Twin Cities have the same understanding about billing MaineCare that Somalis in Minnesota’s Twin Cities have about opening daycares?
In a separate incident, late last year, a Muslim man was caught committing food stamp fraud out of a Halal grocery store.
Ali Ratib Daham was sentenced to at least a 33-month jail term and $1-Million in restitution. He also faced potential deportation following the scam run out of the Ahram Halal Market in Portland. Along with the food stamp fraud, Daham pleaded guilty to money laundering.
And that’s not the first fraud case in Maine committed by the owner of a Halal store.
In fact, the owners of Lewiston’s first Halal market were convicted on fraud charges back in April 2014. Roda Abdi, 46, and her husband Ali-Nassir Ahmed, 54 were sentenced to 19-Months jail time (10 and nine months respectively) and an additional three years probation each after ripping off the federal government to the tune of $46,000 in fraudulent housing subsidies.
The couple had more than $3-Million in deposits from their store while at the same time claiming on federal housing forms that they had no income or assets. They also purchased a multi-unit apartment building in Lewiston — with cash. And they were in the process of buying a second — again, with cash.
All of the fraud revolves around government subsidies and handouts. The prevalence of fraud could be expected considering the amount of government money Maine’s immigrant population is swimming in.
American workers are footing the bill for $400,000 in funding to increase food access to the Somali community in Lewiston. The Immigrant Resource Center (run by a Somali immigrant with a history of controversial and hateful remarks — you can listen to some of her radical comments here and here) is receiving another $300,000 from American taxpayers in an attempt to limit the widespread domestic abuse in the community. Both grants were awarded in 2016 under the Obama administration.
And we can likely expect more schemes and scams now that the Maine Supreme Court has ruled in favor of providing welfare to unemployed asylum seekers.