FBI Wraps Up Raid at West Palm Beach Office of Doctor Tied to U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez

Carli Teproff et al., The Miami Herald, January 30, 2013

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.”

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.

“Dr. Melgen has been a friend and political supporter of Senator Menendez for many years,” Mendendez’s office said. “Senator Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions, all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately. Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically-motivated right-wing blog and are false.”

{snip}

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.

“I’m not going to respond to the fallacious allegations of your story,” Menendez told the Daily Caller on Monday when a reporter caught up with him on a train in Washington.

At the time, Menendez had just stepped into the national spotlight along with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and six other senators who are hammering out a highly watched immigration plan that is the talk of Washington.

{snip}

The FBI would not comment on the emails, and the agent, Regino Chavez, did not return calls or emails. But sources told The Miami Herald that the emails are real.

The emails from agent Chavez show that he tried to find out what happened. But the tipster, who went by the name “Peter Williams,” refused to talk to him by telephone or meet him face to face.

Chavez contacted the tipster Aug.1, 2012, after the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington referred the case to the FBI. The tipster would not meet or speak by phone to CREW or to an investigative reporter, either.

“As far as the information you have provided, we have been able to confirm most of it,” Chavez wrote on Sept. 12. “We know that you are providing accurate information.”

But it is not clear what that specific information is because Chavez was unable to interview the alleged prostitutes. Over the months, Chavez tried to meet or speak with the tipster, but had no luck.

Then, on Nov. 1, the agent wrote the tipster again and drew attention to the Daily Caller interview with the alleged prostitutes.

“I think we are at the point where you and I need to communicate over the phone so that we can move faster,” he wrote.

No luck.

Amid the suspicious circumstances of the complaints, Democrats have tried to characterize the reports about Menendez and Melgen as a right-wing smear job.

{snip}

But the two-day raid of Menendez’s longtime friend shows that an investigation is ongoing.

{snip}

The FBI also searched the eye doctor’s other clinics, in Delray Beach and Port St. Lucie.

{snip}

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  • The__Bobster

    I’m glad the Feds finally caught up with the Reconquista thug Sen. Pumpkinhead. He’s gotten away with criminal acts for decades.

    I should know. He came from my old neighborhood and I watched this cane-cutter gain power in corrupt Hudson County.

    Say, what about this case?

    (CNSNews.com) – Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who had an illegal alien who was a registered sex offender, working as an unpaid intern in his New Jersey office, now insists there must be a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens as part of immigration reform.

    According to the Associated Press, which broke the story December 12, 18-year-old Luis Abraham Sanchez Zavaleta, a Peruvian native, was arrested on December 6 after overstaying his visa. Sanchez was convicted as a juvenile in New Jersey in 2009 of sexually assaulting an eight-year-old boy, which forced him to register as a sex offender.

    • guest

      He came from your old neighborhood and you have dirt on him? Do tell!! My mother – in – law lives in NJ & can’t stand him!

  • The__Bobster

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/ladies-against-senator-sleaze-bob-robert-menendez-s-caribbean-sex-trips-expose-dem-hypocris

    Ladies Against Senator Sleaze-Bob—Robert Menendez’s Caribbean Sex Trips Expose Dem Hypocrisy

    By Michelle Malkin on January 31, 2013 at 8:34pm

    Conservatives are always told they don’t do enough to reach across the aisle.
    We’re divisive, obstructionist and hostile to bipartisanship. So in the spirit
    of unity and comity, I’m announcing the formation of a new social justice group:
    Ladies Against Senator Sleaze-Bob.

    Now all I need are some principled Democratic ladies and liberal media
    lionesses to step up to the plate with me to protest the vulgar, sexist behavior
    of Sen. Bob “Pumpkinhead” Menendez, D-N.J.

  • dd121

    The Dem lefties are ideologically amoral. They just don’t understand why some people might be upset with this behavior. Not one Dem voted to impeach Bill Clinton for his immoral and illegal behavior. Barney Frank? Run a male prostitution ring from apartment, what’s the problem? Of course when a Republican misbehaves they scream family values. Sickening.

    • IstvanIN

      The Democrats are two faced.

  • Lewis33

    Between that name, the fact that he’s an optometrist, and his photo, I’m guessing there’s very little Dominican in this old boy.

    • IstvanIN

      The old boy was in the Dominicans!

  • StillModerated

    I would not meet with the FBI either. Folks who have dirt on Democrap politicians have a mysterious way of getting whacked dead. Think in terms of Arkancide. And Little Smoking Barry would not hesitate to have G-men pull the tregro (joke) for him.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      Think in terms of Vince Foster.

  • bigone4u

    If creepy old pervert Menendez gets associated with a little more sleeze and dishonesty, he could be the Democrat’s nominee for President in 2016. Honest! The bigger the liar they are, the more the Democrats love them. A gay boy prostitute scandal could put this guy over the top at the 2016 convention.

  • Mark

    “But then, days before Menendez was about to start leading the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as chairman………”
    Please give this man a break. He was just preparing for his new position in the Senate.

  • Why say his Colombian friend. jewish friend is more to the point. Aipac likely paid for them, to later “remind” him of the fact when an important israel first bill comes up.

  • Frank

    This investigation of the Senator will go nowhere. Obama needs him to help with immigration. The Injustice Dept. will tell the FBI to drop the case and that will be it.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      And guess who runs the Injustice Department? Eric “White People Don’t Have Civil Rights” Holder, who also brought us the “Fast & Furious” scheme in which the BATF colluded to run guns to the Mexican narcos.