US Senator charge in visa & Medicare scandal, sex, money and power.Watch
According to allegations in the indictment, during this same time period,Menendez allegedly engaged in three efforts to use his Senate office andstaff to advocate on behalf of Melgen's personal and financialinterests.
Firstly, Menendez allegedly pressured executive agencies in connectionwith a conflict between Melgen and the government of the DominicanRepublic relating to a disputed contract that Melgen purchased to provideexclusive screening of containers coming through Dominican ports.
Secondly, Menendez allegedly advocated on behalf of Melgen in connectionwith a Medicare billing dispute worth approximately $8.9 million toMelgen.
Thirdly, Menendez allegedly took active steps to support the tourist andstudent visa applications of three of Melgen's girlfriends, as well asthe visa application of the younger sister of one of Melgen'sgirlfriends.
Throughout these efforts, Menendez allegedly engaged in advocacy forMelgen all the way up to the highest levels of the U.S. government,including meeting with a U.S. cabinet secretary, contacting a U.S.Ambassador, meeting with the heads of executive agencies and other seniorexecutive officials and soliciting other U.S. Senators, all in order toassist Melgen's personal and pecuniary interests.
Menendez charged that prosecutors "don't know the difference betweenfriendship and corruption and have chosen to twist my duties as a senatorand my friendship into something that is improper".
Political analyst, Rebeca Shafer says, politicians take gifts likethis all the time. It is easy to call someone your friend when they arepaying all the bills. This is nothing new, but politicians do thistypically to not make enemies; they walk a very fine line as not to pissanyone off. This is America and this is how Washington works. Remember that the Keating Five were five United States Senators accusedof corruption in 1989. The five U.S. senators were accused of trying topressure federal thrift regulators to back off their political benefactor-Keating- whose Lincoln Savings & Loan would collapse duringthe savings-and-loan crisis of the late 1980s at a cost of $3.4 billionto taxpayers. At the time, Keating was an influential andlarger-than-life business figure in Arizona and he generously contributedcampaign cash to his favorite politicians.
John McCain is the only member of the "Keating Five" who isstill serving on Capitol Hill. The other four retired in 1990s: U.S.Sens. Alan Cranston, D-Calif.; Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz.; John Glenn,D-Ohio; and Donald Riegle, D-Mich.
Menendez advocated on Melgen's behalf with federal Medicareadministrators who accused Melgen of overbilling the government'shealthcare program, according to court documents and people briefed onthe probe. Melgen was among the top recipients of Medicare reimbursementsin recent years, during a time when he was also a major Democratic donor-an estimated $8.9 million in over billing from 2009 to 2011.
Citizens against fraud say medical fraud is so wide-spread that isestimated at 200 billion a year. Doctor groups make huge donations tomany politicians in order to get special treatment and make it easier tocommit fraud. The US Senator just passed a bill to make it easier fordoctors to get paid on questionable procedures. To single out onedoctor or one politician seems absurd when basically thousands of doctorsand dozens of senators participate in this practice every day. Medicare fraud is the norm and politicians are happy to look away as longas they get financial support from the medical community. We are glad tosee someone get indicted but this does not fix the problem when senatorsand criminals work together.
The senator helped advance the visa applications sought by Melgen for hisgirlfriends from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Ukraine, as well asthe sister of the Dominican woman, according to prosecutors.
A Foreign Affair, an international Introduction company thatspecializes in introducing American men to models and beautiful womenfrom all over the world, says their clients contact their own senatorsand representatives all the time to help with Visas. This is the firsttime they have hear of an issue with this. America is a county of who youknow. Most of the time it is to help with fiancée visas. Some ofthe more influential clients try and use the tourist visas as an easierway to expedite fiancée arrivals. Since Melgen was bringing so manywomen to the US, fiancée visas were not an option as US policy onlyallows two fiancée visas in a lifetime, plus you have to be single.Melgen is married.