A federal grand jury indictment has charged US Senator Robert Menendez with bribery and corruption charges connecting the Democratic leader of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee and his wife to an alleged scheme with New Jersey businessmen.
The indictment unsealed in US District Court in Manhattan on 22 September also names the senator’s wife, Nadine Menendez, New Jersey real estate developer Fred Daibes, and associates Wael Hana and Jose Uribe.
Prosecutors allege the couple enjoyed a “corrupt relationship” with their New Jersey associates to accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from at least 2018 up until about 2022.
Authorities have seized $100,000 worth of gold bars and more than $480,000 in cash, mostly stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe at their home and bank, according to the indictment.
During the same court-authorized search of their home, federal agents also discovered home furnishings allegedly provided by Mr Hana and Mr Daibes and a “luxury vehicle” paid for by Mr Uribe parked in the garage, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleges that Ms Menendez and Mr Hana sought to introduce Egyptian intelligence and military officials to the senator for the purpose of “establishing and solidifying a corrupt agreement” with help from Mr Daibes and Mr Uribe using thousands of dollars in bribes, in exchange for Mr Menendez’s breaches of duty to benefit the government of Egypt – including financial support for its military.
Senator Menendez and his wife are charged with three counts, including conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.
Mr Daibes, Mr Hana and Mr Uribe are charged with the first two of those counts.
The indictment follows a lengthy investigation roughly six years after a trial on separate corruption claims resulted in a hung jury.
Prosecutors with the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York will hold a press conference to announce the charges at 11am ET.
This is a developing story
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