FBI Discovers Gold Bars at Bob Menendez’s Residence Linked to New Jersey Businessman Accused of Bribing Him

“Each gold bar has its own serial number. They’re all stamped…you’ll never see two stamped the same way.”

A recent report discloses that four of the gold bars discovered at Senator Bob Menendez’s residence in September have been traced back to the 2013 robbery of a New Jersey businessman, Fred Daibes.

Daibes, now accused of bribing Menendez, reported a $500,000 theft of gold, jewelry, and cash from his Edgewood, NJ apartment in 2013. Following the arrest of four suspects and their guilty pleas, Daibes, as the victim, attended court proceedings and signed property release forms on December 13, 2013, to reclaim his belongings, including the gold bars.

“Each gold bar has its own serial number,” Daibes told investigators in a 2013 transcript from prosecutors and police who recovered the stolen items. “They’re all stamped…you’ll never see two stamped the same way.”

A decade later, FBI agents discovered four gold bars in the Clifton, NJ residence of Menendez and his wife, Nadine, showing serial numbers that seemingly align with those previously stolen from Daibes.

One of these bars, identified by the Swiss Bank Corporation marking and serial number 590005, was highlighted in the bribery indictment involving Menendez and Daibes. Notably, this particular bar was part of the items reported stolen by Daibes, and according to NBC News, “Daibes’ signature and initials appear on the evidence log, which included each specific gold bar with its corresponding serial number.”

“All of this spells bad news for Sen. Menendez, because the chain of custody — it appears — is going to be really easy to prove up,” said NBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos, who added that if Daibes did give the gold bars to Menendez, that alone would not prove bribery.

“Was there a quid pro quo? Was it in exchange for the senator’s official acts — or promises of the same?” Cevallos said.

The FBI indictment alleges that Daibes, along with fellow businessmen Wael Hana and Jose Uribe, participated “in a years-long bribery scheme,” and that the Menendezes “accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes” from the three in exchange for Menendez’s “agreement to use his official position to protect and enrich them and to benefit the Government of Egypt.”

Menendez has denied the allegations, stating in a news conference after the indictment was unsealed, “The allegations against me are just that — allegations.”

Menendez’s legal representative, responding to reports about the gold bars once owned by Daibes found in Menendez’s possession, informed NBC News that they “will refrain from commenting on anonymous media leaks aimed at prejudicing his right to a fair trial. He anticipates addressing the government’s allegations in court, relying on a comprehensive record of the evidence.”