5 Charged in Alleged Juror Bribery Scheme

5 Charged in Alleged Juror Bribery Scheme

(LibertyInsider.org) – Federal prosecutors in the Minnesota District US Attorney’s Office announced they indicted five people on charges surrounding a scheme to bribe a juror with $120,000 in cash and the promise of more to come in the Feeding Our Future trial, which concluded on June 7. The defendants are facing multiple charges, including obstruction of justice, corruptly influencing a juror, bribing a juror, and conspiring to bribe a juror.

The indictment named Abdimajid Mohamed Nur of Shakopee, Abdiaziz Shafii Farah of Savage, and Said Shafii Farah of Minneapolis, all defendants in the Minnesota trial. A jury convicted the first two but acquitted the third in that trial. Additionally, the indictment named Ladan Mohamed Ali of Seattle, Washington, and Abdulkarim Shafii Farah of Minneapolis.

Investigators alleged that the five targeted a 23-year-old juror, identified only as Juror 52, because of her age and because they believed she was the only person of color on the panel. Group members are accused of researching Juror 52’s personal information online, including data about her family and friends and where she lived.

The defendants also allegedly surveilled Juror 52, noting her daily routines and confirming her home address. According to investigators, they also installed a GPS tracker on her vehicle without her knowledge or permission to assist them in their surveillance.

According to court documents, Ali took a flight from Seattle on May 30 to conduct the bribery scheme on Friday, May 31. The suspect allegedly attempted to follow Juror 52 from the courthouse to her home after the first day of closing arguments.

On Sunday, June 2, Ali allegedly approached Juror 52’s home and handed a gift bag containing $120,000 to one of the juror’s relatives. She is reported to have called the money a gift in exchange for the juror’s not-guilty verdict, promising more if the juror could also convince others to acquit. Ali’s accomplice, Abdulkarim Farah, remained in the car, allegedly videoing the conversation on his phone as proof of the transaction.

Juror 52 called the police when she returned home and discovered the gift bag. On June 3, the court removed her from the jury before deliberations started and sequestered the remaining jury members after removing another juror who had heard about the events from family members.

The judge in the case also demanded that the defendants surrender their phones. Before Abdulkarim Farah complied, he allegedly performed a factory reset on his phone to destroy the evidence of the plot from the device.

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