"Not his first bribery rodeo": Democrat Senator under massive fraud investigation over gold bars, bribery

Bob Menendez by is licensed under
NEW JERSEY - Once a crook, always a crook. Such is the case of Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who is no stranger to questionable activity. His previous foray into the criminal arena ended in a mistrial in 2017.

That case involved a federal bribery investigation. Now, Menendez appears to be in hot water again, according to New York Magazine.

Citing a report from NBC 4 New York, investigators are conducting a probe to determine if either Menendez or his wife, Nadine Arslanian, received gold bars worth as much as $400,000 from a developer and former bank executive facing federal bank fraud charges.

The exchange between the executive, Fred Daibes, and either Menendez or his wife took place while Daibes was under indictment. Last year, he pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud concerning lying about a $1.8 million loan from the bank where he served as chairman. He was facing up to 10 years in prison.

The probe centers around the possibility Menendez offered to insert himself in the case on Daibes’ behalf in exchange for the gold, an act that violates the Federal Extortion Act.

NBC 4 reports that a grand jury is listening to witness testimony, and a decision on levying charges against Menendez could soon follow. Only after the criminal probe was launched did Menendez and his wife file a federal disclosure revealing possession of the gold bars.

NBC 4 said there is no evidence Menendez contacted U.S. Attorney Phillip Sellinger, who worked in the office prosecuting Daibes. They did note, however, that Menendez and Sellinger are close, as Menendez supported Sellinger for his position, and Sellinger returned the favor by acting as a fundraiser for Menendez’s senate campaign.

“U.S. Attorney Sellinger was recused from the Daibes matter, and all activity by the office related to that matter was handled appropriately, according to the principles of federal prosecution,” a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson told NBC 4.

As noted, Menendez is familiar with skirting the law. He also allegedly took money from the owner of a halal importer in Edgewater, New Jersey, who his wife knew before she latched on to Menendez. In addition, investigators, including the FBI and federal prosecutors, are investigating whether Menendez received a Mercedes and a luxury Washington, D.C. apartment in exchange for political favors.

Menendez hosted Egyptian officials and the halal importer in his office in 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported. Only one year later, that importer became the “sole certifier of halal meat exported from the U.S. to Egypt,” the Journal reported.

NBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos weighed in on the cases involving Menendez, Fox News reported.
“For purposes of the Federal Extortion Act, it makes no difference if the senator took an official act so long as he accepted the money and there was knowledge the money was in exchange for that official influence, even if he never carried out what he had promised he would do,” Cevallos said.

In an ultimate display of arrogance, Menendez established a legal defense fund in April to defray costs related to the federal criminal probe.

Menendez, who is up for reelection in 2024, is facing a primary challenge from Roselle Park, New Jersey Mayor Joe Signorello III, according to NJ.com. This will be the second election in a row that Menendez faces a primary challenge from within the Democratic Party.

Fox News Digital reached out to the senator’s office and the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation Unit for comment. None responded.
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