Gold

Bob Menendez faces new allegations of receiving gold bars and cash for support of Qatari investment – NBC New York

A federal grand jury has filed a second superseding indictment against Sen. Robert Menendez (D) and alleges he tried to help a New Jersey developer with getting a multi-million dollar investment from an investment company tied to the Qatari government in exchange for some of the cash and gold bars they already alleged the developer sent to Menendez.

The developer cited in the indictment is Fred Daibes, who has also been charged in the case.

During the time of the discussions in late 2021 into 2022 for the investment in the deal, Sen. Menendez is accused of making a number of positive statements supportive of Qatar.

The indictment says, “Menendez provided Daibes with these statements so that Daibes could share them with the Qatari Investor and a Qatari government official associated with eh Qatari Investment Company.”

The indictment also alleges that Menendez introduced the New Jersey developer to a member of the Qatari royal family who was also a principal of the investment company, identified in the indictment as “Qatari Investor”.

Prosecutors allege in the indictment that Daibes, exchanged text messages with Menendez about the alleged scheme and in Sept. 2021, Daibes sent Menendez (via an encrypted app) photos taken from Daibes’ computer of luxury watches valued from $9,990 to $23,990 and asked Menendez “how about one of those”.

Daibes and Menendez have both denied any wrongdoing.

An attorney for Daibes previously told NBC New York he is confident his client “will be exonerated when all the evidence is heard.” Daibes has pled not guilty.

Menendez pleaded not guilty at a hearing in October.

At the time, the senator said, “I will not litigate this case through the press, but have made it abundantly clear that I have done nothing wrong and once all the facts are presented will be found innocent.”

In response to the latest indictment, a lawyer for Menendez released a written statement saying, “The government’s new allegations stink of desperation.  Despite what they’ve touted in press releases, the government does not have the proof to back up any of the old or new allegations against Senator Menendez.  What they have instead is a string of baseless assumptions and bizarre conjectures based on routine, lawful contacts between a Senator and his constituents or foreign officials.  They are turning this into a persecution, not a prosecution.”

The lawyer went on to state that Menendez “acted entirely appropriately.”

The indictment indicates that federal prosecutors reviewed web searches by Menendez after he returned from a trip to Qatar in October 2021 where they allege Menendez searched, “how much is one kilo of gold worth.”

Prosecutors allege Menendez received items of value from the Qatari Investment Company. In particular, they allege, the Qatari Investor provided four tickets for the 2023 Formula One race in Miami to an unnamed relative of Nadine Menendez at the request of Sen. Menendez.

The new conduct is all included in the previous counts Menendez was facing. Sen. Menendez faces no new charges in the latest indictment.

Last week, the judge denied the defense counsel’s request to adjourn the trial until July, setting a start date for May 6.


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