Bob Menendez’s WIFE being eyed in federal probe for allegedly accepting gifts in exchange for favors

Democratic Senator Bob Menendez’s WIFE being eyed in federal probe for allegedly accepting gifts in exchange for favors from the politician

  • Menendez, 68, married international businesswoman Nadine Arslanian, 54, in 2020 after the pair met at a New Jersey IHOP in 2016
  • The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York has now subpoenaed business associates of Arslanian
  •  Investigators in the probe have executed search warrants on the homes and businesses on the founder of IS EG Halal
  • IS EG Halal is a company in the couple’s home city of Edgewater that is the only business in town allowed to certify halal meat that is shipped off to Egypt
  • According to court documents, prosecutors were looking into possible undisclosed foreign lobbying in the U.S. and other potential violations

Now New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s wife is being investigated by federal prosecutors who are looking to see whether she accepted gifts in exchange for political favors from her husband. 

Menendez, 68, married international businesswoman Nadine Arslanian, 54, in 2020 after the pair met at a New Jersey IHOP in 2016. 

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York has now subpoenaed business associates of Arslanian, insiders told the Wall Street Journal. Subpoenas doled out in recent months have sought information on the couple. 

Investigators in the probe, which dates back to 2019 before the couple was even married, have executed search warrants on the homes and businesses on the founder of IS EG Halal, a company in the couple’s home city of Edgewater that is the only business in town allowed to certify halal meat that is shipped off to Egypt

Wael Hana, the founder of IS EG Halal, is reportedly an associated of Arslanian. 

According to court documents filed by Hana’s lawyer, prosecutors were looking into possible undisclosed foreign lobbying in the U.S. and other potential violations of federal law. The lawyer, Lawrence Lustberg, was seeking the return of government-seized property. 

Now New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez's wife is being investigated by federal prosecutors who are looking to see whether she accepted gifts in exchange for political favors from her husband

Now New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s wife is being investigated by federal prosecutors who are looking to see whether she accepted gifts in exchange for political favors from her husband

Menendez, 68, married international businesswoman Nadine Arslanian, 54, in 2020 after the pair met at a New Jersey IHOP in 2016

Menendez, 68, married international businesswoman Nadine Arslanian, 54, in 2020 after the pair met at a New Jersey IHOP in 2016

Lustberg told WSJ Hana has little details about the probe and has sought more information so he can address any concerns. 

‘Once he has the opportunity to do so, and the truth comes out, he is confident that the government will recognize that he has done absolutely nothing wrong, including that IS EG was awarded its Halal certification contract with Egypt without any assistance whatsoever from any U.S. public official,’ Lustberg said. 

In recent months, prosecutors have also subpoenaed New Jersey lawyer Antranig Aslanian, a longtime friend of Hana and his former lawyer. 

Aslanian said he told prosecutors he had known Menendez’s wife for 25 years and they were both Armenian, and the extent of a gift he offered was buying her a drink if he saw her out at a local bar. 

‘If she was somewhere and I saw her, I’d say, “Hey, would you like a drink?”‘ he said. ‘I said to the U.S. attorney, “Is there something wrong with that? If I saw you out, I’d offer you a drink.'”

Aslanian said he had no clue what prosecutors were searching for.   

Investigators allege Menendez abused his office to help Dr. Salomon Melgen (pictured), who had given him lavish gifts - including trips on a private plane to a Dominican resort and a Paris vacation

Investigators allege Menendez abused his office to help Dr. Salomon Melgen (pictured), who had given him lavish gifts – including trips on a private plane to a Dominican resort and a Paris vacation

State business records show Arslanian, Menendez’s wife, is the president of Strategic International Business Consultants LLC. According to the senator’s financial disclosures she also did work for Fusion Diagnostics Laboratories, a New Jersey medical device company. 

Menendez chairs the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 

After avoiding conviction for corruption in a 2015 trial, the new probe into Menendez was reported in October. In the 2015 case, federal prosecutors alleged he accepted upwards of $1 million in illegal gifts.

Among the gifts prosecutors say Melgen gave Menendez were flights on Melgen’s private jet, vacations at Melgen’s private villa in the Dominican Republic and a three-night stay at a luxury Paris hotel valued at nearly $5,000.

Melgen also directed more than $750,000 in campaign contributions to entities that supported Menendez, according to the indictment, which alleges they were inducements to get Menendez to use his influence on Melgen’s behalf.

In exchange, Menendez allegedly helped Melgen avoid paying $8.9 million for overbilling Medicare, a meeting with an assistant secretary of state to help Melgen in a contract dispute over port screening equipment in the Dominican Republic, and helping one of Melgen’s girlfriends and her sister get into the country after their visas were denied. 

FBI agents raided Melgen's West Palm Beach, Florida, office in 2013

FBI agents raided Melgen’s West Palm Beach, Florida, office in 2013

After a trial in 2017 the judge declared a mistrial because the jury could not agree on a verdict. The judge then acquitted Menendez of some of the charges in 2018 and the Justice Department said it would not re-try him. 

Menendez´s attorneys argued that Melgen´s gifts were tokens of their longtime friendship, not bribes. Menendez paid for some of the trips he took to Melgen´s resort in the Dominican Republic.

Melgen was convicted on health care fraud charges in Florida, but former President Donald Trump commuted his sentence during his final days in office. A White House statement at the time credited Menendez with backing clemency. 

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