Bob ‘Gold Bar’ Menendez’s stash of hidden cash and gold bars revealed in new photos

The court was shown a collection of images, taken by federal authorities, which showed valuables shoved haphazardly around the New Jersey home of the Democrat’s wife

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Wednesday 22 May 2024 01:51
US Senator Bob Menendez charged with three counts of corruption crimes

Pictures of multiple solid gold bars and wads of cash stuffed into boots were among items shown to jurors in the ongoing criminal bribery trial of embattled Senator Bob Menendez.

The collection of images, taken by federal authorities, showed confiscated valuables that had been shoved haphazardly around the New Jersey home of the Democrat’s wife, Nadine Menendez.

Mr Menendez, his wife and three New Jersey men - Wael Hana, Fred Daibes and Jose Uribe - were indicted in September 2023 over an alleged scheme in which the couple accepted gold bars, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and payments for a Mercedes convertible in exchange for his political influence.

Lawyers for Mr Menendez, 70, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and the businessmen say their clients are not guilty and that the government is trying to turn common interactions between a politician and his constituents into crimes.

However, in June 2022, an FBI raid turned up 13 gold bars and more than $480,000 in cash in the home.

Pictures shown in court at the bribery trial of Senator Bob Menendez showed rows of solid gold bars of varying size
Pictures shown in court at the bribery trial of Senator Bob Menendez showed rows of solid gold bars of varying size (FBI)

Last week, the federal agent who led the raid testified at trial, saying tens of thousands of dollars were found stuffed in four jackets where the senator kept his coats. Other cash was found in bags and in a closet safe.

Pictures presented as evidence at trial showed gold bars of varying sizes laid out next to each other, some appearing to be worn, while others were kept inside plastic packaging.

Large stacks of bank notes were also found, including stuffed inside what appeared to be a Timberland brand work boot.

Stacks of cash were found stashed all over the New Jersey home of the senator’s wife, Nadine Menendez
Stacks of cash were found stashed all over the New Jersey home of the senator’s wife, Nadine Menendez (FBI)

Prosecutors say that the lawmaker’s actions ultimately benefited the Egyptian and Qatari governments. Mr Menendez faces 16 federal charges, including bribery, acting as a foreign agent, obstruction of justice and extortion. He has pleaded not guilty and denies all wrongdoing.

Mr Menendez’s defense attorney blamed his wife for accepting gold bars, cash payments and hiding them from him, during opening statements at his trial. Avi Weitzman told the jury that the senator knew nothing of the gold bars and cash, which had been recovered from the New Jersey home in 2022.

The lawyer argued that it was Nadine Menendez who accepted the lavish bribes, hid them from her husband and then served as a messenger between the senator, his co-defendants and Egyptian officials.

A total of 13 gold bars were found by FBI agents during raids on the home, as well as over $480,000 in cash
A total of 13 gold bars were found by FBI agents during raids on the home, as well as over $480,000 in cash (FBI)

Last week, the day after his lawyers tried to pin the crimes on Ms Menedez in court, the senator revealed his wife was fighting breast cancer.

“As a result of constant press inquiries and reporters following my wife, she has asked me to disclose her medical condition,” the New Jersey lawmaker said in a statement on Thursday. “Nadine is suffering from Grade 3 breast cancer, which will require her to have mastectomy surgery.”

“We are of course, concerned about the seriousness and advanced stage of the disease,” he continued. “She will require follow up surgery and possibly radiation treatment. We hope and pray for the best results.”

Cash was found in various places in the home, including a work Timberland brand work boot
Cash was found in various places in the home, including a work Timberland brand work boot (FBI)

Ms Menendez requested earlier this year to undergo a separate trial from her husband and the New Jersey businessmen, citing a serious medical condition in court filings. She is supposed to face trial later this summer.

Mr Menendez is on trial along with Mr Daibes Mr Hana. They too have pleaded not guilty. Mr Uribe took an earlier plea deal.

Proceedings are expected to last six to seven weeks.

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