A pandemic fraud trial took a 'mob movie' twist when a juror got a bag filled with $120,000 in cash

  • A wild attempted bribery is rocking a Minnesota pandemic fraud trial.

  • A woman dropped off a bag of $120,000 in cash to the juror's house.

  • "This is stuff that happens in mob movies," the prosecuting attorney told the court.

Like something straight out of a mob movie, a juror in a Minnesota pandemic fraud trial was offered $120,000 cash to vote for acquittal.

Just before the jury was set to begin deliberations on Monday, Assistant US Attorney Joseph Thompson announced the apparent attempted bribery to the court, according to the Minnesota Reformer.

The unnamed 23-year-old juror was assigned to a federal fraud case against seven people accused of stealing $49 million from a federally funded child nutrition program, the Reformer reported.

Their case is just one in a series of cases against dozens of individuals who, through a nonprofit called Feeding Our Future, the DOJ alleges stole a total of $250 million in the largest pandemic relief fraud scheme to date.

Thompson told the court that on Sunday night, a woman driving a Madza went to the juror's home and left a bag containing $120,000 in cash with her father-in-law, telling him there'd be "another bag tomorrow" if she voted for acquittal, the Minnesota Reformer reported.

The juror, who was not home at the time of the illicit delivery, later called 911, and the FBI picked up the money from her on Monday morning, according to the Reformer.

"This is outrageous behavior," Thompson said in court, according to the outlet. "This is stuff that happens in mob movies."

Defense attorney Andrew Birrell also expressed dismay at the bizarre development, calling it "a troubling and upsetting accusation," according to the Reformer.

The FBI has confiscated the defendants' cell phones until a search warrant can be granted, and the prosecution is asking to have them held in custody until a verdict is decided, MPR News reported.

After questioning all the other jurors in the case, the judge determined that none of them had also been approached about the case. Still, according to MPR News, she said she plans to sequester the jury overnight.

The juror who alerted authorities to the alleged bribery attempt was excused from the trial, the Reformer reported.

Lawyers for the defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment from BI. Thompson also did not respond to a request for comment.

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