Gold bars that have been connected to a 2013 robbery were found by FBI officers at Senator Bob Menendez’s Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, home, providing an unexpected turn to an ongoing inquiry. According to NBC News, during a raid in June 2022, authorities discovered gold bars that matched the serial numbers of those taken from well-known New Jersey real estate developer and Menendez supporter Fred Daibes.
In 2013, Daibes had reported a big burglary at his Edgewater house, when thieves took 22 gold bars and $500,000 in cash. The stolen gold was later found and four people were arrested by the police. Given the ongoing bribery accusations against Menendez, the finding of these gold bars in Menendez’s residence has sparked concerns about the senator’s relationship with Daibes.
Daibes gave thorough descriptions of the pilfered gold bars while being accused of paying Senator Menendez money in exchange for a number of favors, including obstructing a federal prosecution against him. In 2014, Daibes said, “Each gold bar has its own serial number.” He also acknowledged their ownership by signing property release documents to recover the stolen gold.
Federal corruption charges against Senator Menendez, 69, are pending in connection with an alleged long-term bribery conspiracy. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has filed accusations against Menendez, his wife Nadine, and three businessmen: Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Daibes. The charges also concern Menendez’s ties to the Egyptian government.
Prosecutors claim that in March 2022, Daibes gave Nadine Menendez two gold bars, each weighing a kilogram. Notably, an envelope containing cash that was taken from the senator’s residence had the fingerprints of Daibes’ driver on it.
The FBI’s inquiry turned over $566,000 in cash and 13 gold bars in Menendez’s possession, some of which were concealed in the senator’s attire. Menendez has continuously denied any wrongdoing and refuses to retire from the Senate in spite of the overwhelming evidence against him and the escalating calls for his resignation, including from members of his own party.
It is alleged that Menendez and his spouse took bribes from Daibes in exchange for the senator’s support in defending him against criminal charges related to bank fraud. It is believed that Menendez, expecting leniency in Daibes’ case, had an influence on Philip Sellinger’s nomination as US Attorney for New Jersey. Menendez may receive a maximum sentence of 45 years in jail if found guilty on all counts.