Four gold bars found during raid of ‘crooked’ Dem Senator Bob Menendez’s home were previously stolen – then returned – to New Jersey businessman now accused of bribing the lawmaker, records show
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  • Bob Menendez, 69, was charged in September with bribery, extortion and fraud – accused of taking cash and a Mercedes Benz in return for political favors
  • One of three men Menendez is accused of being paid to assist was Fred Daibes, a New Jersey real estate tycoon 
  • NBC reported that Daibes was robbed of gold bars in 2013: the gold was found and returned to him, but was found in the September raid on Menendez’s house 

A New Jersey senator charged with taking bribes from local businessmen in return for political favors had gold bars at his home which belonged to one of the men accused of bribing him, according to a report.

Bob Menendez, 69, was charged in September with taking cash and gifts including a Mercedes Benz from three entrepreneurs, in exchange for using his ‘power and influence’ to help them.

Menendez’s home was raided when the charges were announced.

On Monday, it emerged that gold bars found in the raid on Menendez’s home had belonged to Fred Daibes – one of the three businessmen accused of paying Menendez for assistance.

Daibes, a New Jersey real estate tycoon, had his penthouse broken into in 2013, and gold bars stolen – in addition to cash and other items.

Senator Bob Menendez was charged in September with bribery and fraud. He said the charges were 'just allegations'

Senator Bob Menendez was charged in September with bribery and fraud. He said the charges were ‘just allegations’

Fred Daibes, a New Jersey real estate tycoon, had gold bars stolen from him in 2013, and then returned. They have since turned up in Menendez's house

Fred Daibes, a New Jersey real estate tycoon, had gold bars stolen from him in 2013, and then returned. They have since turned up in Menendez’s house

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York showed the gold bars found at Menendez's house. The serial numbers match those stolen from, and returned to, Daibes

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York showed the gold bars found at Menendez’s house. The serial numbers match those stolen from, and returned to, Daibes

The perpetrators were caught and confessed, and Daibes signed official police documentation certifying that the gold bars were his, identifiable thanks to serial numbers and markings.

Daibes had the stolen gold bars returned to him.

But NBC News realized that Daibes’ gold bars were the same ones that were seized in the raid on Menendez’s house.

Their discovery is likely to be a key part of prosecutors’ argument, as they maintain that Menendez was paid by Daibes for favors.

‘All of this spells bad news for Senator Menendez, because the chain of custody — it appears — is going to be really easy to prove up,’ said NBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos.

Cevallos said that if Daibes gave gold bars to the senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, that alone does not prove the crime of bribery.

‘Was there a quid pro quo? Was it in exchange for the senator’s official acts — or promises of the same?’

Senator Bob Menendez is seen with his wife, Nadine Arslanian - an Armenian, born in Lebanon, who he married in 2020

Senator Bob Menendez is seen with his wife, Nadine Arslanian – an Armenian, born in Lebanon, who he married in 2020

Piles of cash are pictured from the raid on the Menendez's home in New Jersey

Piles of cash are pictured from the raid on the Menendez’s home in New Jersey

Menendez’s lawyer said that the senator ‘will not be commenting on anonymous media leaks designed to prejudice his right to a fair trial.’

The attorney added: ‘He looks forward to addressing the government’s claims in court, based on a complete record of the evidence.’

Menendez has denied taking payoffs from Daibes.

Prosecutors allege that Daibes’ fingerprints and DNA are on some of the tens of thousands of dollars in cash found in Menendez’s home.

Menendez said he kept large quantities of cash in his house because his family came from Cuba.

‘For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba,’ he said.

Menendez said that there was no proof of wrongdoing, saying the charges were ‘just allegations’.

An attorney for Daibes said he is confident his client ‘will be exonerated when all the evidence is heard.’



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