Sen. Bob Menendez and wife indicted on bribery charges; DOJ seizes gold bars and $500,000

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By Bhargab Kaushik

Sen. Bob Menendez and wife indicted on bribery charges :”A decade after his prior court struggle, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife Nadine Arslanian Menendez are currently dealing with a second round of corruption-related allegations.”

Sen. Bob Menendez and wife indicted on bribery charges

Menendez and his wife are accused of accepting large bribes, including gold, cash, home mortgage payments, remuneration for dubious jobs, and a luxury vehicle, in exchange for the senator’s influence, according to a federal indictment that was just made public.

Menendez has now been charged with corruption twice by the Justice Department; the first time was ten years ago when he was accused of conspiring, paying bribes, and engaging in honest services fraud in exchange for favors.

After serving in the Senate since 2006, Menendez is up for reelection in 2018. He will have to give up his chairmanship under Senate Democratic Caucus rules.

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Accusations of corruption

Three people, including Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes, who have been identified as business colleagues and residents of New Jersey, as well as Senator Menendez and his wife Nadine, are accused of three alleged offenses, including participation in a bribery conspiracy. They are expected to show up in court on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The group is charged with working together in the indictment to take advantage of Senator Menendez’s power as a US senator for personal gain and to help Egypt. According to the prosecution, Menendez tried to favor one of his business partners in the appointment of the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey. He is also charged with exerting pressure on the Department of Agriculture to uphold a business monopoly maintained by a different Egyptian contact.

With reference to the monopoly rights given to Menendez’s contact, Wael Hana, in relation to the supply of halal meat to the US market, the Department of Agriculture had expressed concerns to Egypt in 2019. Hana then visited with Menendez in his office in May 2019 with a group of people, including an Egyptian intelligence official, to ask for help fending off the US agency’s resistance. The following evening, the party had dinner at a steakhouse in Washington, DC, according to the indictment.

Two days later, Menendez allegedly got in touch with someone at the Agriculture Department and pleaded with them to stop opposing Hana’s monopoly plan. Menendez insisted that the USDA not interfere with IS EG Halal’s monopoly despite the official’s efforts to explain how the monopoly was detrimental to US interests. The accusation states that even though the official ignored Menendez’s request, IS EG Halal was still able to preserve its monopoly.

Searches turned up $500,000 in cash and more

The indictment claims that during searches of Menendez’ residence and safe deposit box in 2022, federal investigators discovered over $500,000 in cash, including in envelopes concealed under jackets bearing Menendez’s name.

Sen. Bob Menendez and wife indicted on bribery charges

According to the prosecution, three of the envelopes had the DNA or fingerprints of one of the business associates that the senator is accused of accepting bribes from.

A “luxury vehicle paid for by [Jose] Uribe parked in the garage,” as well as furniture from other business acquaintances and gold bars, were also discovered by the federal agents who investigated Menendez’s residence.

Acquitted in previous trial

In 2015, Menendez was charged with conspiracy, bribery, and honest services fraud in connection with allegedly abusing the authority of his position by federal prosecutors from the US attorney’s office in New Jersey.

The affluent ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen, according to the prosecution, gave the senator more than $600,000 in campaign donations, a lavish hotel suite at the Park Hyatt in Paris, and free trips on a private plane in exchange for political favors.
Menendez’s corruption trial came to a mistrial in November 2017 after the jury declared themselves to be deadlocked. Each accusation was refuted by both men. In 2018, a federal judge cleared them of several of the allegations after the mistrial. The remaining allegations against Menendez were dropped by the Justice Department.

In a separate case, Melgen was found guilty on numerous charges of health care fraud and given a 17-year sentence; however, in 2021, then-President Donald Trump shortened his sentence.

A belligerent Menendez warned at a news conference in 2017 after it was revealed that his mistrial had occurred.

At the time, he declared, “To those who were digging my political grave so they could jump into my seat, I know who you are, and I won’t forget you.

A new development has been added to this article.


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