Defendants Caught Trying to Bribe Juror with $120,000 Cash Stuffed in Hallmark Gift Bag

Defendants Caught Trying to Bribe Juror with $120,000 Cash Stuffed in Hallmark Gift Bag

A Minnesota-based trial took a bizarre turn when the defendants made a brash attempt at trying to sway the jury’s verdict.

The case involved five people who were convicted in a scheme that resulted in the theft of over $40 million in funds earmarked for starving children during the pandemic.

According to the New York Post, the case saw a brazen, last-minute bribe attempt.

The defendants attempted to bribe a juror with $120,000 in cash in a Hallmark gift bag.

The bag of cash was delivered to one of the juror’s homes.

It was received on the night before the jury was ordered to court to hear closing arguments from both sides.

Ultimately, the juror who received the bribe was dismissed.

In addition, a second juror who knew about the attempted bribe was also dismissed.

The defendants involved in the case, who happen to all be of East African descent, are part of a much larger group of 70 others.

Officials say the crime ring was behind the largest financial scheme of the pandemic.

Prosecutors said that in total, the scheme garnered the group of scammers an astonishing $250 million.

However, only $50 million of the stolen funds has been recovered so far.

Five of the seven defendants convicted in the case were:

  • Abdiaziz Shafii Farah
  • Mohamed Jama Ismail
  • Abdimajid Mohamed Nur
  • Mukhtar Mohamed Shariff
  • Hayat Mohamed Nur

They were convicted on counts such as “wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and federal programs bribery.”

Two other defendants, Abdiwahab Maalim Aftin and Said Shafii Farah, were acquitted.

Attorneys for the defendants attempted to argue that the charity was legit.

They claimed that the funds were used as intended.

U.S. Attorney Joseph Thompson described the bribery attempt as “the stuff that happens in mob movies.”

Thompson said the attempt was “completely beyond the pale.”

The Post noted:

“A woman dropped the would-be bribe off at Juror 52’s suburban Minneapolis home Sunday evening in a gift bag adorned with curly ribbons and pictures of flowers and butterflies.

“She rang the doorbell and passed the gift bag loaded with $20, $50, and $100 bills to a relative who answered the door, calling it a ‘present’ for the juror.”

The juror wasn’t home at the time.

However, upon arriving home, the juror immediately reported the situation to the police.

Bribing a juror comes with stiff consequences.

Those convicted of such charges face up to 15 years in prison.