Five people have been charged with offering a $120,000 cash bribe to a juror to thwart a conviction in a US pandemic fraud trial.

The unnamed 23-year-old juror reported that she had received a gift bag filled with cash in the closing days of the federal criminal trial in Minneapolis.

“This is stuff that happens in mob movies,” Assistant US Attorney Joseph Thompson said earlier this month after the alleged scheme emerged.

Prosecutors have charged 70 people with stealing $250m from federal food programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among the five charged with bribery are three who stood trial for providing fake names of non-existent children they were claiming to feed and creating a fraudulent paper trail in order to pocket millions of dollars.

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