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Kenyan who defrauded US govt allowed to fly back home to sell property, return cash

A Kenyan man ,43, convicted in the US for fraud has been granted permission to travel home in November to sell his properties so as to pay restitution.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel granted Mr Liban Alishire’s request to travel to Kenya for up to 30 days to sell his properties after he was convicted in the Feeding our Future scandal.

The money will help cover the Sh107,026,225 ($712,084) in restitution he’s agreed to pay the government, money he made by inflating the number of meals that he said he fed needy children in Minneapolis.

Included in his assets are a posh apartment in Nairobi and a splendid seaside resort in Diani.

Mr Alishire pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud and money laundering, admitting he fraudulently claimed $2.4 million in federal child nutrition program funds.

His companies falsely claimed to serve meals to as many as 2,700 children a day, seven days a week.

Prosecutors say Mr Alishire purchased a truck, boat and trailer with the money, as well as a 5-bedroom apartment unit and a resort on the Indian Ocean in Kenya.

He is facing  41 to 51 months in prison for his role in the Feeding our Future scheme. Prosecutors said Mr Alishire owns multiple properties in Kenya and has a 6-year-old daughter in nearby Uganda.

He is one of 60 individuals engaged in a dubious food relief program. He is accused of establishing a venture to distribute food to those in need. The remaining funds were transferred to a second company.

According to the government, rather than feed children, they enriched themselves by fraudulently misappropriating millions of dollars in Federal Child Nutrition Program funds.

The Federal Child Nutrition Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a federal government -funded program designed to provide free meals to needy children.

According to the Justice Department, Feeding Our Future claimed to have opened more than 250 sites throughout the state of Minnesota during the pandemic.

“The defendants used the proceeds of their fraudulent scheme to purchase luxury vehicles, residential and commercial real estate in Minnesota as well as property in Ohio and Kentucky, real estate in Kenya and Turkey, and to fund international travel,” the department said.

According to court documents, Alishire controlled a shell company called Hoodo Properties, which he used to launder the proceeds from the fraudulent scheme.

On or about November 22, 2021, Alishire conducted a wire transfer of $216,300 from Hoodo Properties to Jaafar Jelle & Co. towards the purchase of the Karibu Palms Resort in Diani Beach, Kenya.

His legal team claimed that his familiarity with the Kenyan market gives him an advantage in selling off his assets and obtaining the required funds. In contrast, federal prosecutors feared that he might flee if he travelled back to Kenya, but his lawyer disputed their argument.

The attorney also stated that if the accused did not return, the US had an extradition agreement with Kenya which would aid in apprehending him.​

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