Bob Menendez, the US Senator and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been charged with bribery of hundreds of thousands of dollars, in cash and kind. The case involved Menendez, his wife Nadine, and three other businessmen who have fattened up the senator’s purse.
The charges include conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.
More than $480,000 in cash, stuffed in envelopes, clothing, closets, and a safe, were found in the senator’s home in Englewood Cliffs. So, let’s find out the specifics of this case.
US Senator Bob Menendez and his wife, Nadine Arslanian, have been indicted on federal bribery charges for accepting bribes in the form of cash, gold, luxury car, and more from three businessmen in exchange for his senatorial influence.
Bob Menendez is the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. One of the businessmen involved, Wael Hana, frequently arranged meetings between the Egyptian government officials and Menendez for a lucrative contract.
Menendez allegedly “provided sensitive US government information and took other steps that secretly aided the government of Egypt” in exchange for a bribe.
It was also alleged that Menendez called state prosecutors to disrupt an investigation into another businessman in exchange for a car. Menendez stated that forces behind the scenes have tried to dig his political grave.
He claims that people can’t accept a “first-generation Latino American from humble beginnings could rise to be a US Senator and serve with honor and distinction.”
Nadine Arslanian Menendez is the wife of US Sen. Bob Menendez, who is the intermediary between Menendez and the three co-indicted businessmen who sought the senator’s help with their personal and legal issues in return for bribery. She also acted as a conduit between Menendez and international government officials.
Nadine was born in Lebanon, and she is of Armenian descent. Her parents emigrated to the USA and settled in New York when she was a child. She acquired a master’s degree in French from New York University and even raised two children in Bergen County. She started the Strategic International Business Consultants company in June 2019.
Bob and Nadine met each other in 2018 at an IHOP in Union City. They later got engaged at the foot of the Taj Mahal when they were on a trip to India in October 2019. They got married a year later in Queens.
According to the indictment charges, Nadine received a luxury car, gold bars worth thousands, as well as help with the mortgage. She also received a consultant fee for facilitating the meetings between the Egyptian officials and Menendez.
In March 2020, Nadine allegedly texted an Egyptian official, “anytime you need anything, you have my number, and we will make everything happen.”
Wael “Will” Hana is an old friend of Nadine with ties to Egyptian government officials. After Nadine started dating Menendez, she and Hana arranged meetings between the senator and Egyptian officials, where they often discussed arms sales and aid.
Hana allegedly promised payments to Nadine in exchange for facilitating the meetings and a promise of a “low-or-no-show job” at his company.
In 2019, the Egyptian government granted Hana’s company an exclusive monopoly on certifying that US food exports to Egypt were compliant with halal standards. Hana had no experience in the business area. The US Department of Agriculture believed it would raise costs for US meat suppliers, but Menendez tried to silence them.
Jose Uribe is another businessman involved in the case who works in trucking and insurance and has a record of fraud. Some associates of Uribe got into legal trouble, and he was concerned that the case would implicate him.
Hana discussed the case with Nadine and Menendez, and shortly afterward, the senator urged the New Jersey attorney’s office to wrap up the prosecution.
Uribe gave $15,000 to Nadine, which she used for a down payment on a Mercedez-Benz convertible, and continued to make its monthly payments.
Fred Daibes is a longtime fundraiser for Menendez and was charged with bank fraud in 2018. In March 2022, Nadine brought two one kg gold bars to a jeweler to be sold, which were previously possessed by Daibes.
In October 2021, when Menendez and Nadine were returning from a foreign trip, Daibes’ driver drove them home, and Menendez searched “how much is one kilo of gold worth” on the Internet the day after.
In January 2022, Nadine texted Daibes, “Christmas in January.” Afterward, Menendez called the Justice Department official handling the Daibes prosecution.
Later that month, Menendez again searched for the value of gold bars. The gold that Nadine tried to sell was possessed by Daibes, as indicated by their serial numbers.
This is the second time that Bob has been indicted, and many are of the opinion that he will escape the charges just like he did last time.
Comment below on how you think the case will proceed.