JUST IN: Minnesota Jury Finds Five of Seven Somali Defendants Guilty in $250 Million Covid Fraud Scheme After Juror Bribed with Bag of Cash | The Gateway Pundit

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A Minnesota jury found 5 of the 7 Somali defendants guilty of stealing millions of dollars in Covid funds intended to feed children.

70 members of the Somali community in Minnesota stole about $250 million in Covid funds. The seven defendants on trial related to the scheme were accused of stealing more than $40 million in taxpayer money.

Millions of dollars went overseas to Somalia. 80% of the stolen Covid money was never recovered.

“The verdict confirms what we’ve known all along, which is that defendants falsified documents, they lied and they fraudulently claimed to be feeding millions of meals to children in Minnesota during COVID,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Thompson said. “The defendants took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud the state of Minnesota and to steal tens of millions of dollars.”

The guilty verdict comes after a juror was offered a bag of cash to vote to acquit. A Somali woman showed up at one of the juror’s homes with $120,000 in cash. The juror was ultimately dismissed. The FBI is still investigating the bribe.

NBC News reported:

A Minnesota jury on Friday found five of seven defendants guilty of most of the crimes they faced related to a scheme in which they misused millions of dollars meant to feed children during the pandemic.

The federal fraud trial was the first in a $250 million Covid relief scheme that prosecutors say is the largest of its kind.

The verdict comes days after one juror said she had been offered nearly $120,000 in cash in exchange for voting to acquit. The juror was dismissed after reporting the alleged bribe attempt to the court and police.

A second juror was released Tuesday after a family member brought up the alleged bribe in a conversation.

After deliberating for more than three days, the sequestered jury found five of the defendants — Abdiaziz Shafii Farah, Mohamed Jama Ismail, Abdimajid Mohamed Nur, Mukhtar Mohamed Shariff and Hayat Nur — guilty of most of the crimes they were accused of, according to NBC affiliate KARE reporter Lou Raguse.

Two other defendants — Said Shafii Farah and Abdiwahab Maalim Aftin — were acquitted of all the crimes they faced, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.



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