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Lawsuit against Ilhan Omar’s husband threatens her reelection campaign

Congressional challenger Don Samuels has called on Omar to address her husband’s business lawsuits.
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Omar cut ties with husband Tim Mynett’s political consultancy after 2020 election.

As Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s husband is battling a lawsuit over alleged financial fraud, her primary opponent Don Samuels is calling for her to address his business dealings. 

The complaint against Will Hailer and Omar’s husband Tim Mynett, the business partners of winery eStCru, states the pair “fraudulently misrepresented” their company and its potential return on investment.

Hailer said in an email response to the Minnesota Daily that he and Mynett plan to work to resolve the “simple contract dispute” with investor Naeem Mohd. Hailer and Mynett deny defrauding Mohd in response to the complaint.

Hailer and Mynett promised Mohd they would triple his $300,000 investment within 18 months, with an additional 10% monthly interest if not paid on time, according to reports from the Minnesota Reformer. The lawsuit states Mohd only received the original $300,000 back a month late, which caused him to sue the business partners last fall for $780,000.

Samuels, who is challenging Omar for her congressional seat, held a press conference on June 6 addressing Mynett’s business dealings impacting Omar’s congressional campaign. Samuels said with public trust in politicians declining, it is important for Omar to answer the public’s concerns and questions. 

“I think what she needs to do is to answer the questions,” Samuels said. “Part of my having a press conference is to encourage her to do that.”

Since the beginning of 2019, Omar’s campaign has paid Mynett’s political consultancy around $3 million before cutting all ties with the firm after the 2020 election. Soon after, Hailer and Mynett founded the California winery eStCru. 

“It’s like writing a check and then signing the back,” Samuels said. “I’ve never heard of that level of self-dealing or family dealing.”

Hailer and Mynett’s other companies, eSt Ventures, Badlands Fund GP and Badlands Ventures, are also being sued by three South Dakotan marijuana companies for over $1.2 million in owed payments.

“605 Cannabis and Dakota Natural Growers are great companies,” Hailer said in an email statement. “We continue to work to amicably resolve the contract dispute between the parties.”

Samuels said politicians must take accountability for their actions before calling for accountability and transparency elsewhere. 

Jacklyn Rogers, a spokesperson for Omar, said in a statement to the Daily that Omar is not involved in any of her husband’s business ventures. Rogers added Omar’s campaign is focused on the issues that matter most to the Fifth District, not on a smear campaign. 

“This is clearly a politically motivated attack and frankly it reeks of desperation from a campaign that is struggling to gain momentum,” Rogers said in the statement. “Since Rep. Omar secured the DFL endorsement on the first ballot our campaign continues to see a groundswell of support and enthusiasm.”

Samuels said Omar calling his conference a political attack is a strategy he has seen before and does not plan to let it bother him. 

“Her accusations are defensive,” Samuels said. “They’re a strategy. I’ve never taken them seriously from the very beginning. And I won’t take them seriously. I’m going forward.”

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  • Tricia
    Jun 21, 2024 at 8:13 am

    August 13, Vote Don Samuels!! He has a strong history of selflessly working for the people!

  • stonepony
    Jun 20, 2024 at 6:41 pm

    Samuel’s faux naiveté here would be amusing if it weren’t so toxic. He’s never seen this level of “self-dealing or family dealing”? Not when he was in the church and not since he’s been in politics? The only surprising thing here is that Omar’s husband is a Springsteen fan and Mr. DeYoe cant stop commenting on his family member’s articles. That’s awkward, Mr. DeYoe.

  • Irving
    Jun 20, 2024 at 2:44 pm

    Don’t forget to vote for Don Samuels i(DFL) n the August 13 primary. It’s an open primary, which means EVERYONE can vote as a Democrat, whether they’re a Republican or Green Party or Independent or even unaffiliated. MN-5 deserves a congressmember who works for its citizens instead of their bank account

  • Ken DeYoe
    Jun 19, 2024 at 5:00 pm

    I question the monies spent on his political consulting. I recall seeing few campaign related advertisements during that time frame. Vote Don Samuels!!!!