Sen. Bob Menendez’s wife sold $400K in gold bars months before his office admitted he was facing federal probe
August 24, 2023 6:20pm
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Sen. Bob Menendez’s new wife cashed in up to $400,000 worth of gold bars — despite having faced foreclosure just three years earlier.
The sale, last spring, was months before his office publicly admitted that the New Jersey Democrat was facing a new federal investigation.
Nadine Arslanian, 56, sold the gold between April 7, 2022, and June 16, 2022, according to the senator’s annual public disclosures. It is equivalent to as much as 13 pounds of pure gold.
The sale was a remarkable financial turnaround for Arslanian, who had reportedly been struggling financially, even facing foreclosure on her home, before she married Menendez in 2020.
But the couple now find themselves at the center of an FBI probe, which began within months of their relationship beginning.Continue watchingThis Day in Historyafter the ad
Manhattan federal prosecutors want to know if the senator or his wife received unreported luxury gifts, including a car and a Washington apartment, in return for political favors, according to reports.
The investigation is the second time the senator has been probed by federal authorities over allegations of corruption. A long-running New Jersey state investigation ended in 2011 with no charges filed.
Menendez, 69, was indicted in 2015 after prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Unit accused him of accepting lavish bribes from Palm Beach ophthalmologist and political benefactor Dr. Salomon Melgen.
Among the allegations was that the senator directed members of his staff to obtain visas for Melgen’s girlfriends, who hailed from Brazil, Ukraine and the Dominican Republic.
The bribery case against the Garden State senator, who was first elected in 2006, ended in a mistrial two years later, after the 12-person jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked.
Federal prosecutors withdrew the charges in 2017 before a retrial, after the Supreme Court narrowed the definition of public corruption.
In December of the following year, he met Arslanian in an IHOP in Union City, where he had been mayor, starting a whirlwind romance, the couple told the New York Times’ “Vows” column.
They were introduced over pancakes, and, said Arslanian, “He was very intelligent and had a great sense of humor, and he was very, very hot.”
In the next five months, they visited four continents, and in October, she was his partner on a congressional delegation visit to India.
Menendez, a divorcé, orchestrated an elaborate proposal: As Arslanian sat in front of the Taj Mahal, on what he said was the same seat that Princess Diana used when her marriage was on the rocks in 1992, he sang “Never Enough” from the 2017 film “The Greatest Showman,” and dropped to one knee with a ring.
His fiancée, however, was reportedly wrestling with financial problems, the New York Times reported. In 2014, after having trouble paying the $1,897 monthly mortgage on the Bergen County home she now shares with Menendez, she enrolled in a federal program to help her manage her costs, according to the newspaper.