According to information published by Lisa Clemons on the popular North Talk Facebook forum, a convicted felon named Eric Yusef Mahmoud is head of SEED Academy/Harvest Prep and also a convicted felon involved in mortgage fraud. These facts are already revealed in a Star Tribune article, click here. But more information about Mahmoud was revealed in the Facebook discussion, including allegations by Lisa Clemons that Mahmoud ripped off a black owned daycare center.
Clemons is the sister of controversial community activist Al Flowers. Posing a question in North Talk that concealed more than it revealed, Lisa asked, "Should a convicted felon be paid $173,000 a year and everyone keep quiet because he is black and some don't want to offend the black leadership?"
The little game about who she was talking about went on for a little while, but Lisa ultimately revealed who she was referencing and said much more...
Here is where Clemons revealed who she was talking about, spilling the beans on what appears to have been an "open secret" among some segments of the community.
Eric Yusef Mahomoud: Head of SEED Academy/Harvest Prep. Convicted of trying to defraud the state of Georgia of 1.8 million dollars in a mortgage fraud scheme (Google it). The school boards argument is "He pled guilty" he was not convicted. I laugh even remembering them telling me that. Some men, with felony convictions, can"t even get a minimum wage job and definitely can work in the school system. I have been told to be quit and don't call the "brother" out. I have been told, "The white man been robbing us for years." Makes me cringe. The community wont change as long as we hide the criminals. I don't care how educated you are. A crook is a crook.
Another participant in the forum pointed out the crime was back in 2005 and provided the following link.
The information linked spells the name "Eric Yusef Mahmoud" which is slightly different than Lisa Clemons was spelling it in her comments. And yet there seems to be little dispute about the truthfulness of Lisa's remarks, except for a bit of a dispute about who on the Minneapolis school board knew what and when did they know it.
Here is Clemons' version of the story:
He was convicted in 2010 and did not notify the school board, his board or the community. in fact he signed on to a contract with the schoo; board to open more charter schools after the conviction and failed to report the conviction. Startribune reported the story in August 2012. School board said they did an extensive background check and did not see the conviction, nor did Eric Mahmoud disclose the information.
Clemons claims she has been in email contact with the school board but I do not have a copy of the emails in question.
A forum participant named Thomas Berry told Clemons she "threw the entire black community under the bus" by revealing information in public about this convicted felon. But Clemons described her motives this way:
I owned a daycare in North Minneapolis, with my sisters, and Eric Mahmoud was our landlord/owner. He took our rent, of up to $5,000.00 a month, and never paid the mortgage. We worked in slum conditions with ceiling tiles nearly falling on our children several times. he had numerous fines from the city for refusing to do work orders, etc. unbeknown to us he was pocketing our rent money for 2 years and we found out when the bank came to serve us a foreclosure notice and a friend in the Sheriff's department to me we needed to leave. All the while Eric was telling me not to worry he had the money. Finally he stopped taking my calls and we lost our business. He is a thief and this is fact not rumor. Oh by the way... he was robbing us while waiting for his sentence to be handed down for felony mortgage fraud!!!!
For the record, Mahmoud was not selected to run the school so much as a founder of the school.
Clemons had this to say to Thomas Berry about supposedly throwing the black community under the bus.
I wont debate the issue with you because you weren't his victim. While Eric Mahmoud continues to live in his house by the golf course and drive his fancy cars, and draw a annual 6 figure salary.... my staff lost homes, apartments, cars and struggled to find employment to feed their children. The black community had the opportunity to drive the bus and decided to sit in the back and act like he committed no injustice. If Eric Mahmoud was white Thiomas and I posted this same information what would your opinion be? I got mad respect for what you are trying to do but to lead you have to call all races on the carpet. Crooks aren't just gang
banging. They are robbing the commintiy in suits too.
Clemons also asserted she was correct in regard to who at the school board knew what and when, as follows:
with all due respect my facts are absolutely correct. I have spoken with board members for SEED and MPLS School board and they became aware when Startribune announced it. I have read all board minutes and that conviction was never addresses. I am really not trying to piss any of you off but none of you were victims of Eric Yusef Mahmoud either.
@Thomas: Like I said I got mad respect for you but if I could wear a sign and stand on a roof top shouting that he is a thief I would. I know he started SEED Academy and I don't knock him for that, but why is that an excuse for his criminal behavior? That just sounds crazy. The truth is the truth.
The Star Tribune article linked above made no mention of the situation with the daycare center. The investigation discussed in the Strib article is apparently not yet concluded. Here was the situation as of September 11 of this year, according to the Strib.
However, Mahmoud still faces detailed questions from the authorizer of Harvest Prep and Mastery, Audubon Center of the North Woods, over issues of finances, governance and the relationships between the two schools and SEED. SEED is the nonprofit company run by Mahmoud and his wife, Ella, that rents space to the schools at 1300 Olson Highway and provides them administrative services for a fee. Audubon extended its contract with Mahmoud's schools by only six months until it gets answers to those questions.
The Star Tribune last month reported on a number of issues involving Mahmoud, SEED and their finances. The school has been operating under a forbearance agreement with investors in its bonds after missing several payments to them. The Star Tribune reported that Mahmoud is paid about $273,000 for his various roles with SEED and Best, more than the best-paid district superintendents in Minnesota.