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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez and his wife accused of corruption in federal indictment.

The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo, PLLC Team

On September 22, following an investigation conducted since 2018 by the FBI, Republican Senator Bob Menendez and his wife Nadine Menendez were charged with federal bribery offenses.

According to the indictment filed in the Southern District of New York, Bob and Nadine Menendez were bribed by three Egyptian businessmen: Will Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes. The latter allegedly offered the couple several hundred thousand dollars in exchange for economic protection of their interests.

A years-long bribery scheme between the co-defendants allegedly led the senator heading the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to use his influence to promote arms exports to Egypt in exchange for bribes that benefited him directly and indirectly through his wife.

Robert Menendez and his wife are charged with several federal offences: Conspiracy to Commit Bribery[1], Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Fraud[2] and Conspiracy to Commit Extortion Under Color of Official Right[3].

Specifically, according to the indictment, Robert Menendez used his influence to provide the US government with sensitive information to help the Egyptian army. Robert Menendez also allegedly advised and pressured a US Department of Agriculture official to protect a commercial monopoly granted to Mr. Wael Hana by Egypt.

In addition, Bob Menendez allegedly promised to use his influence and power in seeking to interfere in a criminal investigation initiated by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office concerning Jose Uribe, one of the co-defendants who offered a Mercedes-Benz C-300 to Nadine Menendez.

Finally, Robert Menendez allegedly used his influence by recommending President Joe Biden to appoint an individual to the position of U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, potentially allowing Bob Menendez to interfere with the federal criminal prosecution of Fred Daibes, another co-defendant.

In June 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant in the couple’s house in New Jersey. The FBI reportedly found the alleged benefits of the bribery scheme : a luxury vehicle, household furnishings, over $480,000 in cash, much of it slipped into envelopes and hidden in clothing. Over $70,000 was also found in Nadine Menendez’s safe. Some of the envelopes contained Fred Daibe’s fingerprints and/or the DNA of his driver. Other envelopes were found in jackets bearing the name “Menendez” and hanging in his closet.

At a press conference, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, pointed out that the senator’s official website explicitly details the list of services he could not ethically provide to his constituents under any circumstances : “Compel an agency to act in your favor or speed up the processing of your case”, “reverse or influence decisions made by private companies”, “intervene in court cases…”.

The senator entered his not-guilty plea in federal court in New York on Wednesday, 28th of September.

Sen. Menendez, is facing three different counts, each of which carries serious potential penalties. In addition to significant financial penalties, the first count of conspiracy to commit bribery carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, the count of conspiracy to commit honest service carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and the last count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

This article was written by Marie-Lou Serna, of the Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo PLLC, with the assistance of Matthew Galluzzo.

[1] In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 201(b)(1)(A) and (C)

[2] In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349

[3] In violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951.

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