Millions of Minnesota taxpayer dollars have been funneled overseas to a Somali terror group through a network of daycare centers, according to reports based on public records and government documents.
Daycare centers, mostly owned by Somalis, received millions in government subsidies meant to assist low-income families with childcare expenses, but the money was instead shipped in suitcases to the Middle East, including regions of Somalia controlled by Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabaab.
“I have never seen anything like this level or scope in my 27-year career as an investigator,” government whistleblower Scott Stillman told Fox 9.
The fraud was so widespread and alarming that he wrote several emails to Department of Homeland Security.
“We are working on and overwhelmed by a significant amount of fraud cases involving organized crime, defrauding hundreds of millions of dollars annually in taxpayer monies,” he wrote.
Ten daycares are currently under investigation and dozens more are considered “suspicious.”
“Some government insiders believe this scam is costing the state at least a $100 million a year, half of all childcare subsidies,” Fox9 reported.
According to government records and public documents, most of the daycares suspected of fraud are owned by Somalis.
“We believe there’s a scope of fraud out there, we need to really get our arms around it and ensure that those dollars are going to the kids that really need them,” said Chuck Johnson, acting commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
“There’s a common pattern about how these are carried out, but beyond that, not something I’d directly categorize as organized crime,” Johnson added.
But former FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force officer Glen Kern said he was confident Minnesota taxpayer money was being used to fund terrorism.
“I’d say absolutely. Absolutely. Our sources are telling us that. Good sources from the community. Leaders,” he said.
“My personal feeling is we need a nationwide task force to clamp down on this kind of fraud.”
Interestingly, Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) denounced the report, saying remittances help fight against terrorist groups.
“Financial stability for the Somali people, both here and in Somalia, is one of our strongest protections against the terroristic threat posed by Al-Shabaab.”
“We should be making it easier for our constituents to support their families — not impugning the community for it. Fox 9 should issue a thorough correction and apology for its irresponsible reporting.”