Juror says someone left her bag with $120,000 cash and promise of more if she’ll acquit

Credit: Glenn Sapaden

MINNEAPOLIS — A juror was dismissed Monday after reporting that a woman dropped a bag of $120,000 in cash at her home and offered her more money if she would vote to acquit seven people charged with stealing more than $40 million from a program meant to feed children during the pandemic.

“This is completely beyond the pale,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Thompson said in court Monday. “This is outrageous behavior. This is stuff that happens in mob movies.”

These seven are the first of 70 defendants expected to go to trial in a conspiracy that cost taxpayers $250 million. Eighteen others have pleaded guilty, and authorities said they recovered about $50 million in one of the nation’s largest pandemic-related fraud cases. Prosecutors say just a fraction of the money went to feed low-income kids, while the rest was spent on luxury cars, jewelry, travel and property.