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Jury Finds 5 Somali Defendants Guilty in $250M Covid Fraud Scheme After Juror Bribed with Bag of Cash

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.

READ 10 COMMENTS
  • TD says:

    They give those scum Somalis a chance to do something better in Minnesota and this is what they do, Then on top of this they join ISIS, that rotten un-American Elan Omar is something else also, I would not trust that scum woman government for nothing, They will never be Americans, should deport all of them if that was possible, After living in Minnesota of decades now they don’t have to and they still have their Rags on of some reason, What dos that tell you

  • Sickofjoeobiden says:

    Ship them back! I don’t want to have my taxes paying for them to be in jail! Or turn them loose to the public for justice. They would be in good hands for American justice!

  • Quasimodo 2020 says:

    3rd world behavior by 3rd world citizens supported and enabled by a 3rd world senator. When will our government learn, 3rd world adults can not and will not integrate into a civilized society. The rott from living in a 3rd world is far to deep, it is like capturing a 10 yr old wolf and expecting to make it into a lap dog. It will never happen it is to far gone.

  • Frustrated says:

    It seems to be that all un-American citizens should deported, repatriated. Close the borders permanently. There will be less crime, fraud, rapes and murders. Those who come here on work visas, allowed only for a specific amount of time. There are enough citizens to do the jobs. Not one single Chinese allowed. They come here with work visas, only to spy. We no longer should be known as the melting pot. Biden is complicated in adding to crime and injustice.

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