Juror in Minnesota pandemic benefits fraud trial excused after being offered cash BRIBE by mysterious woman
06/11/2024 // Ava Grace // Views

A 23-year-old female juror in a federal pandemic benefits fraud trial in Minnesota has been dismissed from jury duty following a bribery attempt.

According to the Star Tribune, a mysterious woman arrived at the juror's suburban home with a party bag on the evening of June 2. The bag contained wads of cash amounting to almost $120,000 in all. The woman told the juror's father-in-law that there would "be more of that present tomorrow" if his daughter-in-law voted to acquit seven defendants involved in the Feeding Our Future scheme, before leaving the money-filled bag.

The bribery allegation came amid deliberations on the guilt of seven defendants involved in the scheme. The accused individuals reportedly deceived the federal government to obtain $49 million in federal funds during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This they did by vastly inflating the number of meals served to children at 50 locations across Minnesota through the Feeding Our Future program.

The seven accused – Said Shafii Farah, Abdiaziz Shafii Farah, Mohamed Jama Ismail, Abdimajid Mohamed Nur, Abdiwahab Maalim Aftin, Mukhtar Mohamed Shariff and Hayat Mohamed Nur – were slapped with a myriad of charges in 2022, including wire fraud and money laundering. All of them received more than $40 million for 18 million meals distributed at 50 food sites across the North Star State – from Rochester to St. Cloud – in 2020 and 2021.

In reality, the pilfered money was used to buy luxury cars, houses, jewelry and overseas properties. Very little of the amount was used for food purchases.

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They were among a bigger group of 70 people charged in the broader case involving U.S. Department of Agriculture programs that reimburse schools, day cares and nonprofits for feeding low-income children after school and during the summer. All in all, the 70 people were charged with stealing more than $250 million in federal money meant to feed needy children, according to the Tribune.

U.S. attorney calls bribery attempt on juror "outrageous"

The juror wasn't at home at the time of the woman's visit. But instead of accepting the bribe, she called 911 and left the money at home until agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrived. Photos from court documents showed bundles of $100, $50 and $20 bills amounting to roughly $120,000 inside the seized bag.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Thompson then recounted the bribery incident to U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel of the District Court of the District of Minnesota. According to him, the woman who offered the bribe drove to the juror's home and left the money with her father-in-law.

"This is outrageous behavior. This is stuff that happens in mob movies," said Thompson. "This can't be allowed. This strikes at the integrity of our system." (Related: How deep runs the corruption?)

According to the assistant U.S. attorney, bribing a juror carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. He added that the incident could have repercussions for the next trials of more than three dozen defendants.

The juror involved was dismissed as a result of the incident, leaving 12 jurors and five alternates as a result. The magistrate then sequestered the remaining 17 jurors and questioned them one by one to ensure that they hadn't had any contact with anyone about the case in the past six weeks. All 17 confirmed that they hadn't, as per the Tribune.

Brasel ordered an FBI agent to confiscate the defendants' mobile phones as part of a probe regarding the leak of jurors' names. According to an FBI search warrant, the woman who offered the bribe used the juror's first name, which wasn't publicly disclosed. The federal judge also added security to the courtroom and detained all seven defendants.

Head over to Corruption.news for similar stories.

Watch this video about how the private sector steals donations to the United Nations World Food Program.

This video is from the High Hopes channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Watchdog exposes potential FRAUD in nutritional assistance programs in the form of "no-good-cause exemptions."

Report: Majority of illegals benefit from welfare programs in the U.S. – many of them have "anchor babies."

Indian people are starving, but the government wants to use food as fuel instead of feeding the masses.

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