In the midst of a national shortage, three Florida residents are prison-bound for a $100 million fraud scheme involving infant formula. And, in a novel approach, at least one places blame for their demise on Trump voters.
Police describe Johnny Grobman, 48, Raoul Doekhie, 53, and Sherida Nabi, 57 as being from South Florida. The Department of Justice says the group profited tens of millions of dollars by fraudulently claiming to be exporting the products.
The defendants, two of whom are married, told manufacturers they had government procurement contracts in Suriname. In this way they were able to obtain baby formula and other products regulated by the FDA.
Doing this secured deep discounts, and then the items were sold on U.S. shelves for profit. “Dummy” shipments were sent to South America to produce documentation. Other times the products were actually shipped but immediately sent back to the U.S. in a “U-turn” procedure.
The third method simply produced fraudulent paperwork for goods that never left the country. All took advantage of what federal prosecutors call the “gray market,” which is the diversion and resale of goods not intended for domestic distribution.
It was profitable for quite a while, and the rewards include a $9 million beach house, luxury condominiums and cars, and a 48-foot yacht.
The elaborate 12-year scheme fell apart — and Trump voters took the blame, after a small organic food company discovered the flim-flam from talking to a truck driver. And therefore, it’s Trump’s fault.
Goods that were intended for Suriname, the business was told by the trucker, were instead headed for a U.S. warehouse. Grobman, lamenting in 2017 that the gig was up, complained in an email to fellow defendant Nabi that a truck “driver talking” was bringing them down.
He added “these are the kind of morons that elected our current president.” So yes, it’s the fault of Trump voters.
Forfeitures of nearly $200 million were ordered, and additional restitution amounts may be forthcoming.
The “Trump Voters Made Me Do It Defense” did not work, and at least three folks won’t be voting for a while. It’s not working for the White House either, but it doesn’t stop them from trying.