Afra Grill owner faces federal charges in fraud scheme

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Abdirahman “Abcos” Ahmedthe owner of the popular Columbus Afra Grill, was charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a $250 million pandemic fraud scheme. Tuesday, the The US Department of Justice announced criminal charges against 47 defendants, alleging they stole millions of dollars intended to provide food for children in need during the pandemic. Federal officials describe it as the biggest COVID-19 relief fraud scheme to date. Ahmed, who has property in Delaware County, owned and operated the now-closed Safari restaurant in Minneapolis, which allegedly “received more than $16 million in fraudulent funds from the federal infant nutrition program,” according to a statement. Department of Justice press release. The Despatch of Columbus see you here. Afra Grill opened in 2020 at 1635 Morse Road, and the fast-casual East African restaurant has been named one of Monthly ColumbusThe best new restaurants in in 2021. This year, Ahmed opened a second Afra Grill location in Easton Town Center. We contacted Ahmed, who often goes by the name “Chef Abcos”, but he has yet to respond.

Openings and announcements

Donnie Austin, certified sommelier and former owner of House Wine in Worthington, announced this week that he and his wife, Megan Cavanaugh, plan to open Aardvark wine and beer at Linworth. The wine and beer store, which is expected to open by the holidays, will be located at 2355 West Dublin-Granville Road, replacing JT’s Grab & Go. The convenience store’s neighboring sister business, JT’s Pizza & Pub, will remain in operation. activity. Aardvark, which will be open daily, will primarily sell bottles of wine between $10 and $30 as well as a variety of craft beers. The shop will also offer frequent tastings. “We want our neighbors and friends to drink good wine without necessarily spending more,” says Austin, who lives in Worthington. “People trust me to put the right bottles in their hands and at their table, whether it’s a dinner for two, a backyard barbecue, or a party for 200 of your closest friends.”

Bonifacio owner Krizzia Yanga is the new owner of a big Check. Yanga was present this week at the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship annual conference in Washington DC, where her Filipino restaurant received a $100,000 grant from GrubHub. Yanga and Bonifacio are in tears. Last December, she was named one of Columbus Monthly 2021 The creators of taste, and Bonifacio recently featured in Food & Wine.

Mount Pierogi (105 N. Grant Ave.) is set to appear in season four of Food Network Triple D Nation, a spin-off of Guy Fieri’s TV show Diners Drive Ins & Dives. The episode will air at 9 p.m. on Friday, September 23. This is Pierogi Mountain’s second star tour; Matthew Majesky’s pierogi restaurant first appeared on Dinners back in 2017.

A nano-brewery called Half cooked infusionopened a bar at 765 N. High St., which once housed the short-lived Short Supply in the Short North.

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