Democratic Senator Bob Menendez Googled how much a pound of gold is worth multiple times amid an alleged bribery scheme involving him and his wife.
The indictment was unsealed Friday, with Menendez, 69, and his wife each facing three criminal charges after a year-long investigation for their part in the alleged bribery scheme. This is his second indictment since becoming a senator in 2006.
The complaint alleged that the New Jersey senator googled “How much is one pound of gold worth?” after returning home from a trip to Egypt in October 2021.
Several gold bars were found during a court-authorized search of the couple’s home in June 2022. The gold bars were part of hundreds of thousands in bribes the couple is accused of taking.
Menendez Googled the price of gold again shortly after his wife thanked Fred Daibes, a New Jersey businessman and former employee of Menendez, for “Christmas in January,” the document said.
Pictured: Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., right, and his wife Nadine Arslanian. According to a criminal complaint, the New Jersey senator Googled “How much is one pound of gold worth?” after returning home from a trip to Egypt in October 2021
Authorities found two one-kilogram gold bars and eleven one-ounce gold bars in Menendez’s home during a search in June 2022. The gold bars were part of the hundreds of thousands of bribes the couple allegedly accepted
Pictured: Senator Bob Menendez’s home in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. The indictment was unsealed Friday as Menendez and his wife each faced three criminal charges for their part in the alleged bribery scheme after a year-long investigation.
Daibes and two others were involved in paying “hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes” in exchange for the senator using his power to secretly benefit the Egyptian government, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors also accused Menendez of trying to influence Daibes’ ongoing federal prosecution.
Menendez and his wife were charged Friday with corruption charges involving the purchase of a luxury car, $400,000 in gold bars and cash, plus payments on a home mortgage that Menendez and his wife allegedly received.
The indictment alleges that the couple had an improper relationship with three New Jersey businessmen: Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes, who allegedly paid the couple in exchange for Menendez to use his influence in Washington, D.C., to their advantage.
The couple each faces three criminal counts: conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit racketeering under the color of official right. The three businessmen are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.
The indictment also accuses the senator of providing “sensitive U.S. government information and taking other steps that secretly aided the government of Egypt.”
The investigation also looked into other bribes allegedly paid to the couple. “These bribes included cash, gold, mortgage payments, compensation for a low- or no-show job, a luxury car and other items of value,” the indictment said.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife Nadine Arslanian arrive for a state dinner honoring French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in December 2022; the couple has been charged with three crimes related to bribery and extortion
Cash was found in envelopes during a raid on Menendez’s home in June 2022
$486,461 in U.S. currency was seized from the couple’s home, according to the indictment
The luxury Mercedes-Benz C-300 convertible worth over $60,000
A June 2022 raid on their New Jersey home found “more than $480,000 in cash — much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets and a safe,” the indictment said, adding that Nadine had more than had $70,000 in a safe.
Two one-kilogram gold bars and eleven one-ounce gold bars were also found.
Menendez and his wife reportedly sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold bars, despite facing foreclosure just three years earlier and initially failing to disclose it in their ethics files.
Businesswoman Nadine Arslanian, 56, cashed in up to $400,000 in gold last spring, in a sale that took place just months before a federal investigation into the New Jersey Democrat was announced to the public.
Damian Williams, an attorney for the Southern District of New York, outlined the allegations and supporting evidence during a news conference Friday morning, saying the couple used Menendez’s “power and influence to protect and enrich businessmen and harm Egypt’s government.” good ones to come.’
He noted that investigators “executed a search warrant and discovered more than $500,000 in cash stuffed into envelopes and the senator’s jackets.”
‘That’s not all. Agents have discovered a lot of gold,” he added.
In a statement Friday, Menendez denied all allegations.
“Those behind this campaign simply cannot accept that a first generation of Latin Americans could rise from humble beginnings to become a U.S. senator.”
“I have been falsely accused before because I refused to stand down to those in power and the people of New Jersey were able to see through the smoke and mirrors and recognize that I was innocent,” he said.
He added that he would not be “distracted by unfounded accusations” but would continue his work as a senator.
David Schertler, an attorney for Nadine Menendez, said she “denies any criminal conduct and will vigorously fight these allegations in court.”
The indictment alleges that Menendez attempted to disrupt a federal criminal prosecution of Fred Daibes in exchange for the money and other valuables. Daibes is a longtime friend of Menendez, has raised money for his Senate campaign and is believed to have ties to the Genovese mafia family.
The indictment accuses Menendez of “promising and using his influence and power” to pressure President Joe Biden to appoint a U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey who Menendez “believed could be influenced by Menendez with regarding the federal criminal prosecution of Fred Daibes. .’
Damian Williams, attorney for the Southern District of New York, outlined the charges
Menendez advised and Biden later nominated Phillip Sellinger as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, the top federal prosecutor in the state.
Daibes has been studied before. New Jersey authorities have tracked repeated meetings of high-ranking gangsters with Daibes over the past decade Daily beast reported.
Daibes provided the couple with gold bars and envelopes containing cash, the indictment said.
‘During the court-authorized search in June 2022, several gold bars supplied by Daibes were found; from the couple’s home, the complaint states. It also says the senator searched the internet for ‘how much is a kilo of gold worth’ and that the envelopes containing cash contained the fingerprints of Daibes and his driver.