Federal prosecutors claimed in a new document Wednesday that New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez began accepting bribes from a wealthy donor just before he went to the Senate in 2006, Politico reported.
The case against Menendez relating to bribery and corruption charges focused on Dr. Salomon Melgen, his alleged co-conspirator, is scheduled to start this week. Although Melgen was previously convicted in another case for defrauding Medicare, he has yet to be sentenced.
The newly filed documents by the feds show the government’s case against the New Jersey Democrat.
“The defendants’ bribery scheme began shortly after Menendez’s elevation to the Senate in 2006, when Melgen began a pattern of treating Menendez to weekend and weeklong getaways in the Dominican Republic that would continue for the next several years,” prosecutors said in their latest filing. “For the first four years of the corruption scheme, the all-expense paid trips Melgen provided often included free roundtrip flights on Melgen’s private jet for Menendez and his various guests. When the doctor’s private jet was unavailable, Melgen supplied equally luxurious travel for the Senator.”
Prosecutors claim that Melgen purchased a one way ticket on a private jet for Menendez and several other passengers from the Dominican Republican to Florida that cost $20,000. When reports surfaced about the trips, Menendez repaid Melgen $58,000 for the price of the trips.
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