NJ Senator Menendez Accused in Bribery Case Involving Gold, Cash, and Luxury Vehicle
Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey was charged on Friday, September 22, with accepting large bribes in exchange for using his power to benefit three New Jersey businessmen and the Egyptian government.
A three-count federal indictment was announced by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Damian Williams.
Menendez was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but resigned the chairmanship on Friday after the indictment was announced.
The indictment alleges that from 2018 to 2022, Sen Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, accepted “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, including cash, gold, a Mercedes-Benz, and other things of value” from three New Jersey businessmen – Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes – in exchange for Menendez using power and influence “to protect and enrich those businessmen and to benefit the Government of Egypt,” Williams said.
The indictment says Nadine Menendez is a longtime friend of Wael Hana and that Hana, who is originally from Egypt, has “maintained close connections with Egyptian officials.”
When the FBI searched the Menendez home in June 2022, they found gold bars worth more than $100,000, a convertible vehicle purchased by Uribe, over $480,000 in cash – “much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe” – and over $70,000 in cash in Nadine Menendez’s safe deposit box, the SDNY said.
Nadine Menendez is accused of acting as a go-between and of passing sensitive, non-public information to Egyptian officials, such as “the number and nationality of persons serving at the US Embassy in Cairo.”
Sen Menendez is accused of ghost-writing a letter on behalf of Egypt to other US Senators “advocating for them to release a hold on $300 million in aid to Egypt” and conveying to Egyptian officials that he would “approve or remove holds on foreign military financing and sales of military equipment to Egypt,” among other actions.
This is the second time the senator has been indicted while in office. He was reelected after the charges in his first indictment were dropped in 2018. Credit: SDNY via Storyful
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