Gold bars found at Menendez home linked to 2013 robbery of alleged co-conspirator
More than $100,000 in gold bars were discovered in Menendez's home by FBI agents during a raid, according to the indictment of the senator.
At least four gold bars found in the search of Sen. Bob Menendez's home are connected to a 2013 armed robbery report made by businessman Fred Daibes, who has since been charged as a defendant in a bribery scheme involving the New Jersey Democratic senator, Bergen County prosecutor’s records show.
Daibes in 2013 asked police to recover 22 gold bars and $500,000 in cash that he said was stolen from him during an armed robbery, Edgewater, New Jersey, police records show, NBC News reported Monday evening.
Police later discovered four people with the stolen items, and Daibes signed "property release forms" to get his property back, certifying that he owned the gold bars, according to records.
"Each gold bar has its own serial number," Daibes told police, per a 2013 transcript from prosecutors and police who recovered the stolen goods and returned them to Daibes. "They’re all stamped…you’ll never see two stamped the same way."
A bribery indictment of Menendez, Diabes and three other co-conspirators included photographs of four gold bars, which have serial numbers appearing to exactly match four of the gold bars that Daibes certified the 2013 case as being stolen and returned to him.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
More than $100,000 in gold bars were discovered in Menendez's home by FBI agents during a raid, according to the indictment of the senator. The indictment also states that Daibes provided gold bars to the senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, who has been charged in the scheme.
"All of this spells bad news for Sen. Menendez, because the chain of custody — it appears — is going to be really easy to prove up," NBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos said.
Menendez was charged with conspiracy to act as a foreign agent of the Egyptian government, along with fraud, bribery and extortion. He pleaded not guilty to all charges, as did his wife and all other co-conspirators, including businessmen Jose Uribe and Wael Hana. The senator has resisted calls to resign.