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Senator Menendez could face 15 years in prison

20 April 2015 10:27

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US Senator Robert Menendez will possibly face 15 years in prison if being convicted for using his position to help affluent donor Salomon Melgen in exchange for almost $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions.

The New Jersey senator has pleaded not guilty to eight bribery counts related to his close personal friendship with Melgen, a Florida doctor and longtime political donor.

They met at a fundraiser in 1993 shortly after Menendez was voted into the Senate. Menendez usually flew on the doctor’s private plane, sometimes bringing a guest to the Melgen’s trip villa in the posh Dominican Republic resort of Casa de Campo.

The 61-year-old Democratic senator is also accused of using his influence to get visas for a Brazilian model and a Ukrainian actress.

The two females were paramours of Melgen, who was one of Menendez’s biggest donors, prosecutors charge.

The Senator is also accused of attempting to influence a State Division official on Melgen’s behalf in a dispute involving one particular of the doctor’s enterprise interests in the Dominican Republic.

The doctor was charged with Medicaid fraud last week in a separate 76-count indictment. He remains behind bars at the Federal Detention Center in Miami.

Senator Menendez has been a key voice on Capitol Hill to call for increased sanctions against Iran.

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