The bribery trial of senior New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez has all of it.
Menendez is dealing with fees that he bought his US Senate workplace to a Palm Seashore, Fla., eye physician, his co-defendant Salomon Melgen, for bribes within the type of personal jets stocked with Menendez’s favourite drinks, a personal villa at one of many lushest resorts within the Caribbean, and a Paris lodge suite for which Melgen spent 650,000 American Categorical factors.
The 2 males met in 1993 when Melgen contributed $500 to Menendez’s first Home re-election marketing campaign at a South Florida fundraiser — his first political contribution. Within the many years since, Melgen turned a serious excessive-greenback Democratic donor, and when Menendez was appointed to the Senate in 2006, they already had a very shut relationship.
That relationship allowed Menendez to take pleasure in a life-style far past his reputable revenue of $174,000. It was a lifetime of luxurious funded by one of many largest Medicare frauds in historical past, a $a hundred and five million scheme for which Melgen has already been convicted on sixty seven counts of fraud in a separate federal trial in Florida.
In return, Menendez allegedly acquired Melgen visas for his girlfriends, pressured the State Division to ship a Dominican port-safety contract and pressed the Division of Well being and Human Providers (HHS) to approve the huge Medicare overbilling scheme that stored the great occasions rolling.
One of many girlfriends, Rosiell Polanco, was a 22-yr-previous mannequin when she dated Melgen, who’s married and 35 years her senior. She testified that she and her youthful sister had been denied visas earlier than Menendez’s intervention. Menendez e-mailed his employees: “Name ambassador ASAP.” They have been re-interviewed and authorised.
A number of State Division and Customs and Border Safety officers testified that Menendez demanded they strain the Dominican authorities to reinstate a defunct port-safety contract that Melgen had bought — which might have made the physician a whole lot of tens of millions of dollars.
A former Medicare official, Dr. Louis Jacques, testified that a Menendez employees member pressured him to permit Melgen to overbill. Melgen was dividing single-dose vials of an injectable drug referred to as Lucentis to make use of on a number of sufferers, then billing Medicare for a full $2,000 dose for every affected person.
“The difficulty is essential to the senator,” Dr. Jacques recalled the staffer telling him. “Dangerous drugs isn’t unlawful. Medicare ought to pay these claims.” Dr….