A 16th defendant in the Feeding Our Future cases pleaded guilty Wednesday in the sprawling fraud scheme, admitting he exaggerated the number of meals served to children in need in St. Cloud.

Ahmed Sharif Omar-Hashim, 39, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and confirmed to U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Brasel that he "vastly inflated" the 3,000 children a day that he claimed to serve out of a strip mall between 2020 and 2022. As a result, he and his company, Olive Management, Inc., received about $5 million in federal reimbursements.

His attorney Kristin Hendrick added that prosecutors have verified invoices showing some food was purchased. Prosecutors said only 20 out of 2,000 children listed on attendance rosters matched St. Cloud school records. Omar-Hashim told Brasel that some people who received meals wouldn't give their real names, but "we added some names, yes."

His company was sponsored by Feeding Our Future, a St. Anthony nonprofit at the center of the FBI investigation. He was among the first people indicted in the case in September, 2022. Since then, 60 people have been charged or indicted.

Omar-Hashim is also known as Salah Donyale, which he told Brasel is his pen name for producing videos and poetry. He told her he has a master's degree and is a U.S. citizen with no prior criminal history.

He could receive 33 to 41 months in prison as well as owe more than $3 million in restitution, including paying back money and forfeiting an SUV he bought with the federal reimbursements. Hendrick declined to comment on his behalf after they left the courtroom Wednesday.