According to NBC News, the serial numbers on the four gold bars found by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during a June 2022 raid on the senator's home have matched the identifiers reported by businessman Fred Daibes to law enforcement. The bars were allegedly stolen from him during an armed robbery 10 years ago.
The outlet also reported that the robbers who targeted Daibes made off with $500,000 in cash and 22 gold bars. Police later arrested four suspects and recovered the stolen gold. However, the businessman was later accused of bribing Menendez for a series of favors – including help in disrupting a federal prosecution against him.
"Each gold bar has its own serial number," Daibes told investigators in 2014 when questioned about the stolen gold. "They're all stamped. You'll never see two stamped the same way."
The real estate developer also signed property release forms to get the stolen gold back. This, according to NBC News, certified that Daibes was indeed the owner of the loot. (Related: UPDATE: Evidence in Democrat Senator's investigation traced back to violent crime.)
In September of this year, the 69-year-old senator for the Garden State was hit with federal corruption charges in relation to an alleged bribery scheme that spanned years. Both the lawmaker and his wife Nadine were charged with three conspiracy counts in connection with what prosecutors dubbed a "corrupt bribery agreement." The Menendez couple, Daibes and two others – Wael Hana and Jose Uribe – were the beneficiaries of the scheme, alongside the Egyptian government.
According to prosecutors, Daibes gave Nadine two gold bars weighing a kilogram each in March 2022. Gold went for $60,000 per kilogram at the time, which meant that the bars Nadine received were worth $120,000. The fingerprints of Daibes' driver were later found on an envelope containing thousands of dollars in cash recovered from the Menendezes' home.
A total of 13 gold bars and $556,000 in cash, some stuffed into the pockets of Bob's jackets, were seized by the FBI during its June 2022 raid. Despite numerous calls for him to resign, the senator has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and insists he won't step down. "If convicted on all charges, [Bob] faces up to 45 years in prison," the New York Post said.
Prosecutors have also accused Bob of using his position as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to help benefit Egypt. This he did by supplying "highly sensitive" and confidential information to Cairo and exercising "substantial influence" over military funding to the country. The New Jersey senator also reportedly pressured a senior official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect a business monopoly Hana helped extend to Egypt.
Aside from this, Bob and Nadine reportedly met with an official in the Egyptian military to discuss military aid in a meeting she arranged. Shortly thereafter, Hana informed the said official via text message that the "ban on small arms and ammunition to Egypt has been lifted."
With regard to Daibes, the indictment outlined how Bob sought to disrupt a federal criminal prosecution of his close associate. The senator reportedly urged President Joe Biden to nominate Phillip Selinger as the U.S. attorney for New Jersey. "[Bob] believed [Selinger] could be influenced by [him] concerning Daibes' case," CNBC reported.
All five defendants – Bob, Nadine, Hana, Daibes and Uribe – entered not-guilty pleas in September. The New Jersey senator even had the audacity to claim that he was innocent, expressing confidence that he would be cleared of all charges "when all the facts are presented."
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Watch this One America News report about Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) entering a not guilty plea on federal bribery charges.
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