In addition to the fact that the arrest of one of Sen Menendez's unpaid interns was a country sex offender who was in the country illegally was delayed until after the 2012 elections, the New Jersey Democrat also allegedly didn't pay some of the prostitutes hired to entertain him and Dr. Solomon Melgen at Melgen's Dominican villa.
Now, allegations that Sen. Menendez and Dr Melgen used the services of underage prostitutes that federal agents have deemed credible have surfaced, reportedly prompting Wednesday's raid.
Stringing up crime scene tape and using a locksmith, the FBI on Tuesday and Wednesday raided the West Palm Beach business of an eye doctor suspected of providing free trips and even underage Dominican Republic prostitutes to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez — who has denied what he calls the “fallacious allegations.”Despite news of the prostitution scandal just days before the election, Sen. Menendez was re-elected by a substantial margin. For his part, Menendez denies any wrongdoing and fellow Democrats questioned the credibility of the Daily Caller.
Agents hauled away boxes and bags of evidence from the medical-office complex of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a contributor to Menendez and other prominent politicians, to start hauling away potential evidence in several vans.
On Wednesday, the FBI agents were joined by an inspector from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, indicating the search-and-seizure raid has ties to a possible Medicare fraud inquiry. Melgen has also been the subject of a parallel federal investigation into his relationship with Menendez, D-N.J., who was first accused of improprieties in the conservative Daily Caller website.
Melgen also owns a private CL-600 Challenger plane through one of his West Palm Beach-based companies, records show, and frequently flies between South Florida and Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, where he is from.
Menendez has flown on the plane at least once, when he was chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2009 to 2011, when the Melgens contributed about $60,400 to the group.
Melgen was first linked to Menendez just before the November elections, when the Daily Caller website interviewed two alleged prostitutes who said they had relations with the New Jersey Democrat at Melgen’s Dominican Republic mansion in Casa de Campo.
After the election, the news died down.
But then, days before Menendez was about to start leading the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as chairman, reporters started receiving a 58-page dossier of emails between a Miami FBI agent and a tipster who claimed that some of the prostitutes had been underage.
The age of consent in the Dominican Republic, like most states in the USA, is eighteen.
One aspect of the story that's been overlooked in light of the underage prostitute allegations is that despite having an outstanding IRS lein of more than $11 million, Dr Melgen was able to donate more than $60,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee between 2009 and 2011 when menendez was chair and still has the private jet and Dominican villa.