Gold bars found at Sen. Menendez’s home traced to robbery of co-defendant Fred Daibes

by WorldTribune Staff, December 5, 2023

A stash of gold bars discovered by federal agents at the home of New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez can be traced to a violent 2013 robbery, a report said.

An evidence photo published in the September federal indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez shows a gold bar with the serial number 590005. The same gold bar was reported stolen in a 2013 robbery. / United States District Court

Menendez and his wife allegedly played a role in a bribery scheme that involved the Egyptian government and local businessmen including Fred Daibes, a wealthy New Jersey real estate developer, according to an indictment unsealed by federal prosecutors in September.

Prosecutors revealed that multiple gold bars retrieved from Menendez’s home were allegedly used as payment in the scheme.

Gold is currently selling at $2,037.50 per ounce.

At least four of the gold bars discovered by investigators can be linked to Daibes, both because of their unique engraved serial numbers and thanks to court documents related to a 2013 robbery which Daibes was a victim of, an NBC New York investigation revealed Monday.

In November 2013, four assailants beat and robbed Daibes at gunpoint in his Edgewater, New Jersey, apartment. The assailants stole 22 gold bars, jewelry, and cash.

“Each gold bar has its own serial number,” Daibes told local investigators in a 2014 transcript obtained by NBC New York. “They’re all stamped … you’ll never see two stamped the same way.”

In announcing the indictment of Menendez in September, the Department of Justice released photographs showing the gold bars discovered at Menendez’s home. One of the bars has a serial number of “590005.” Daibes reported a gold bar with that same serial number stolen during the 2013 heist, NBC New York reported.

“A court-authorized search of the residence of Robert Menendez and Nadine Menendez, a/k/a ‘Nadine Arslanian,’ the defendants, revealed, among other things, approximately two one-kilogram gold bars and nine one-ounce gold bars that had serial numbers indicating they had previously been possessed by Fred Daibes, the defendant,” the indictment states.

Since the federal bribery indictment was unsealed earlier this year, Menendez has repeatedly asserted his innocence. He remains in the Senate.

“The allegations leveled against me are just that, allegations,” Menendez said on Sept. 25. “For anyone who has known me throughout my 50 years of public service, they know I have always fought for what is right. My advocacy has always been grounded. And what I learned from growing up as the son of Cuban refugees, especially my mom, my hero, Evangelina Menendez. Everything I accomplished, I worked for despite the naysayers and everyone who has underestimated me.”

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