Schultz Plans To Crack Down On Non-Profit Fraud

PLYMOUTH, MN – Jim Schultz, a Republican candidate for Minnesota Attorney General, announced he will substantially increase resources directed to the Charities Division of Attorney General’s Office when elected to office. In doing so, Schultz highlighted current Attorney General Keith Ellison’s past involvement with fraudulent charities and criticized Keith Ellison for ignoring fraud in Minnesota’s nonprofit sector.

“It is abundantly clear that Attorney General Keith Ellison and the St. Paul establishment have failed to appropriately monitor Minnesota’s nonprofit sector,” Schultz said. “It is estimated that there are over 9,000 nonprofits in Minnesota, and together they employ 385,000 workers who make up 13.3% of the state’s workforce. Nonetheless, the Attorney General’s Office issues ‘five or fewer’ assurances of discontinuance orders a year to charities despite the scale of Minnesota’s nonprofit sector. Recent reports highlight how troublesome nonprofits have escaped scrutiny by Minnesota officials, leaving federal law to fill the void. Ellison has woefully under-resourced this crucial division.”

Schultz’s announcement comes on the heels of the Feeding our Future scandal rocking the Twin Cities nonprofit community. Last month, the FBI raided Feeding our Future for its role in a broad scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Agriculture of millions of dollars. According to the Star Tribune, Feeding our Future funneled “money from federally funded child nutrition programs to an array of entities to be laundered and used for personal real estate, cars and other luxury items.” The Feeding our Future scandal is notable for both its size – the charity received more than $197 million from federal child nutrition programs in 2021 – and the charity’s close ties to several DFL politicians, including a senior aide to Mayor Jacob Frey who was linked to the fraudulent scheme and forced to resign.

Feeding our Future’s alleged fraud has been described as an “open secret” in the Minneapolis community, Ellison’s former congressional district, and the allegations have circled for “almost two years.” The nonprofit announced Friday that it has dissolved amidst the federal investigation.

Schultz stated that “Ellison, more than anyone, should understand the rampant fraud of Minneapolis nonprofits. In 2014, several ‘high-profile DFLers,’ including then-U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, were boardmembers of Community Action of Minneapolis when it was investigated for misspending hundreds of thousands of dollars intended to help low-income people. In the wake of the scandal, Ellison resigned from the Community Action of Minneapolis board ‘as investigators invaded its offices’ and the head of the charity, whose activities were overseen by Ellison and other boardmembers, was sentenced to four years in prison.”

“Nonetheless, a dereliction of duty is the modus operandi for Keith Ellison. Instead of investigating the rampant nonprofit fraud in Minnesota, or prosecuting the violent criminals destroying our communities, Ellison is preoccupied with pushing his far-Left activist agenda on Minnesota families, farmers, and small businesses.” Schultz emphasized that the “vast majority of nonprofits are well meaning, fulfill their stated purpose, and comply with the law. However, some nonprofits, notably those connected to the DFL establishment, escape scrutiny and enrich those in charge instead of helping the community.”

In closing, Schultz promised to increase support for the Charities Division and crackdown on nonprofit fraud: “Enough is enough. We must investigate fraudulent nonprofits leeching off of our state and prosecute the individuals who exploit the compassion of hardworking Minnesotans for personal gain.”

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