U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and his wife have been indicted on federal bribery charges, allegedly accepting cash, gold bars, a luxury vehicle and more as part of a “corrupt relationship” to aid three business with their relationship with the Egyptian government.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“From at least 2018 up to and including in or bout 2022, Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez … engaged in a corrupt relationship with three New Jersey associates and businessmen – Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes, the defendants,” the indictment begins.
” … In which [the Menendezes] agreed to and did accept hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using Menendez’s power and influence as a Senator to seek to protect and enrich Hana, Uribe, and Daibes and to benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt. Those bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value.”
Federal prosecutors charge that New Jersey’s senior senator promises to take “a series of official acts and breaches of duty in exchange for bribes” that benefitted him and his wife Nadine.
He is also accused of using his power and influence to benefit the Egyptian government and Hana, proving sensitive government information to aid the government of Egypt and also pressuring officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect a business monopoly for Hana.
Menendez is the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, while Hana owns the Edgewater-based meat company IS EG Halal, which has the only contract with Egypt through the USDA that allows them to certify all imported halal meat.
Furthermore, Menendez is accused of using his sway to disrupt a criminal investigation into Uribe and then recommend a U.S. Attorney in New Jersey that he could influence into the corruption case of Daibes.
U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger has raised funds for Menendez in the past, at least part of the reason he and his office recused themselves from this matter.
In June of last year, FBI agents executed a search warrant on their Englewood Cliffs home and confiscated cash, gold bars, a 2019 BMW, and a safe deposit box.
“Over $480,000 in cash much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets, and a safe—was discovered in the home, along with over $70,000 in Nadine Menendez’s safe deposit box. Some of the envelopes contained the fingerprints and/or DNA of Daibes or his driver,” the indictment says.
Daibes, an Edgewater-based developer, pleaded guilty to federal banking crimes last spring and was sentenced on Wednesday. He received no mail time.
Overall, the indictment charges that the Menendezes accepted corrupt payments for their mortgage, a 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300, $486,471 in cash, another $79,760 from the safe deposit box, two one-kilogram gold bars, and 11 one-ounce gold bars.
He and his wife are charged with three counts: conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color and official right. Hana, Uribe, and Daibes are charged with the first two counts.
The latest round of subpoenas in the case were issued in May, which included state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, as HCV first reported.
Sacco and state Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack sponsored the Palisades Cliffs Protection Act, a stalled bill that would have limited development in parts of Hudson and Bergen counties and prosecutors were investigating if it could have benefitted Daibes.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District is hosting a press conference at 11 a.m. to discuss the indictment further.