Federal prosecutors are looking into whether an admitted felon helped arrange to give gold bars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez or his wife in exchange for help, sources familiar with the matter tell News 4.
Investigators want to know if Menendez, a Democrat, offered to contact the Justice Department to try to help that man who was accused of banking crimes. Those questions are now before a federal grand jury in Manhattan that is considering whether to hand up corruption charges against the senior senator from New Jersey.
Sources say witnesses are now testifying before that federal grand jury. Part of the investigation centers on the senator’s ties to Fred Daibes, a New Jersey developer and one-time bank chairman. Officials with the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation want to know if Daibes or his associates gave gold bars to the senator’s wife, Nadine Arslanian — gold bars worth as much as $400,000.
At the time of the gift handoff, Daibes was facing federal bank fraud charges that could have landed him up to a decade in federal prison.
Will anything come of this? As New York magazine notes, “Menendez possesses an ability to hang on through corruption scandals that would bury most politicians.”