Plot to Bribe Juror in Major Case Revealed

When one is faced with criminal charges in the United States, they are entitled to a defense attorney who will use every legitimate legal arrow they have in their quiver to have their client acquitted. Every so often, however, the defendants will strike out on their own to hedge their bets using means that fall outside the bounds of the law, such as bribery as is alleged in this case.

A Literal Bag of Cash

Three people who were previously convicted of concocting a scheme that fraudulently billed the Federal Child Nutrition Program for several hundred million dollars when Congress released funds to help Americans deal with the effects of the recent pandemic, plus two others, are facing new charges.

According to the original indictment, the defendants used a charity called Feeding Our Future to sponsor nearly 200 sites that would provide meals and other food to at-risk children around the greater Minneapolis area.

In a new indictment filed on June 25, Abdiaziz Shafii Farah, two of his brothers, and the two new defendants launched an intricate plan to bribe their way into an acquittal. Court documents indicate they finally decided to approach a woman identified only as “Juror 52” because she was the youngest one on the panel and because “they believed her to be the only juror of color.”

Prosecutors allege that the group researchers are using online search tools as well as Juror 52’s Facebook posts, followed her home at the end of each day’s trial proceedings, and affixed a GPS tracking device on her car. The indictment claims that co-conspirator Ladan Mohamed Ali of Seattle — who was not a part of the previous fraud trial — was hired to deliver the $120,000 bribe, which she placed in a gift bag purchased from a local Hallmark store.

The conspirators allegedly asked Juror 52 to vote “not guilty” and to attempt to sway the other jurors to do the same, they even provided her a list of potential arguments to use, including :

  • As immigrants, they do not get any respect.
  • The government is intolerant of “people of color.”
  • Prosecutors go after their racial group even though it is somebody else’s fault.

After Ali left the bag of money with a relative at Juror 52’s home, she immediately informed the judge about it and was dismissed from the jury before deliberations began. The co-conspirators allegedly took video of the exchange of money, perhaps with the intent to have something to hold over the woman’s head, and then went to great lengths to erase it when the judge asked them to turn in their phones for inspection.

Thank you to our friends at RightWing for sharing this story.