Sen. Bob Menendez’s wife sold $400K in gold bars months before his office admitted he was facing federal probe

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Sen. Bob Menendez’s wife sold $400K in gold bars months before his office admitted he was facing federal probe


Isabel Vincent

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.

Nadine Arslanian and Sen. Bob Menendez at the White House
Sen. Bob Menendez and his wife Nadine Arslanian arrive at the White House in May for a reception. The couple is under investigation for allegedly receiving luxury gifts.
Senator Bob Menendez and Nadine Arslanian
New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and his new wife, Nadine Arslanian, are the focus of an FBI probe into whether they received gifts.
Senator Bob Menendez, Jonathan Koppell, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Nadine Arslanian.
Arslanian is now seen regularly with Menendez in New Jersey, including at an event at Montclair State University in April honoring Hillary Clinton.

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



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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.

Senator Bob Menendez's financial disclosure
Senator Menendez filed his 2022 financial disclosures in June, showing the gold transactions made by his wife.
gold bars
Nadine Arslanian cashed in up to $400,000 in gold bars last year.

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.

Salomon Melgen wearing dark glasses
Salomon Melgen was the donor and friend from whom Menendez was accused of taking lavish gifts, in return for favors that included visas for his girlfriends.
Actress and model Svitlana Buchyk
Menendez directed six people in his Senate office to obtain visas for the girlfriends of his former benefactor, Salomon Melgen. Among them were Ukrainian actress and model Svitlana Buchyk.

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.

Juliana Lopes Leite
Another of the women Menendez was accused of obtaining visas for was Juliana Lopes Leite. He was not convicted; the Justice Department dropped charges before a retrial.

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