Sunday 3 March 2024

Businessman Pleads Guilty To Corruption Charges, Will Testify Against New Jersey Democrat Senator

 A businessman and alleged associate of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) pled guilty on Friday to seven corruption charges and agreed to testify against Menendez, the former head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. 

Jose Uribe, 56, pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services wire fraud, obstruction of justice and tax evasion. Uribe admitted to giving Menendez’s wife, Nadine, a Mercedes-Benz with the expectation the Democrat senator would use “his power and influence as a United States senator to get a favorable outcome and to stop all investigations related to one of my associates.”

Uribe said that the car was given so that a “possible investigation into another person who I considered to be a member of my family,” would not be initiated. 

The businessman said that he paid for the car “in a manner to conceal my involvement because I knew it was wrong. I knew that giving a car in return for influencing a United States senator to stop a criminal investigation was wrong, and I deeply regret my actions.”

Uribe could be sentenced to 95 years in prison and has to forfeit $246,000. He will also now testify against Menendez, who faces charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.

Prosecutors allege that Menendez and his wife had a corrupt relationship with businessmen Wael Hana, Uribe, and Fred Daibes, who allegedly gave the senator bribes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to the DOJ, the bribes were intended to protect the businessmen and to benefit Egypt. 

“Those bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value,” the indictment said. Federal authorities reportedly found gold bars and cash stuffed throughout the senator’s home that they traced back to the businessmen Menendez allegedly worked with. 


Menendez is also accused of ghostwriting a letter to other senators to urge them to support to end a hold on $300 million in military aid to Egypt, a letter that was reportedly written in coordination with his wife and the businessmen in question. 

The trial for Menendez and his co-defendants is scheduled to begin on May 5.

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