Culture of Corruption

FBI Again Raids Offices of Dr. Salomon Melgen, Sen. Menendez Biggest Donor

Melgen and MenendezAs the Palm Beach Post reports, the offices of Dr. Salomon Melgen were yesterday again raided by the FBI, evidencing an ongoing investigation into what appears to be Medicare fraud. Melgen is the largest campaign donor of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). In 2012, he contributed $700,000 to a super PAC affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that spent the bulk of the funds for Menendez' re-election.

The Post notes that Menendez went to bat for Melgen on a port security deal in the Dominican Republic. These actions on Melgen's behalf were first reported by the New York Times on February 1, 2013, based on information provided by NLPC. The Washington Post reported in March that Menendez' advocacy on behalf of Melgen is the subject of a grand jury investigation in Miami.

RFK Jr.'s 2001 Diary Blasts Sharpton, Jackson, the Cuomos

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.Robert F. Kennedy Jr., like his late father, Robert F. Kennedy, long has had a reputation for bluntness. And though a partisan of the Democratic Party Left, he can be as unsparing in his assessment of his allies as he is of anyone else. Just how unsparing was brought home yesterday in the New York Post in an article that summarized several of the younger Kennedy's entries in a diary back in 2001. Obtained by veteran Post reporters Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, the diary underscores many things National Legal and Policy Center has been saying for years, particularly about Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. See my Special Report titled Mainstreaming Demagoguery: Al Sharpton’s Rise to Respectability. Kennedy had written that the two civil rights leaders "give me the creeps."

Inside Edition Looks at Weiner's Wedding

Weiner photoThe syndicated TV program Inside Edition tonight ran a report on the questions we have raised about who paid for New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner's wedding. Tom Anderson, the director of the our Government Integrity Project, was interviewed on-air. Click here to read a transcript of the story.

Who Paid for Weiner's Wedding?

Weiner and HumaCharles Johnson of the Daily Caller reports:

Anthony Weiner may have violated federal law when he failed to disclose his lavish six-figure wedding in his financial disclosure forms, says a government accountability group.

Ethics watchdog group National Legal and Policy Center examined the federal Financial Disclosure Reports for both Weiner and long-suffering wife Huma Abedin for 2010, the year of their wedding.

The cost for the ceremony was at least $100,000 but probably ran closer to $250,000 including all accommodations, clothing and extras. Neither Weiner nor Abedin had the resources to pay for the ultra-expensive wedding, yet neither recorded gifts on their Financial Disclosure Reports for that year.

Click here to read the entire article.

Sen. Menendez Took Married Girlfriend on Junket to Puerto Rico; Stayed at Taxpayer-Supported Governor's House

Menendez/Reynolds photoNew Jersey Senator Robert Menendez and a married New Jersey woman named Cecelia Reynolds traveled to Puerto Rico in 2007, where they were guests at the Governor's beach house, owned by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Photographic evidence appears to place them both at the beach house, and on the nearby beach, which is private and closed to the public.

It is not known how they traveled to Puerto Rico. In January, Menendez said he reimbursed $58,500 to Salomon Melgen, his largest political donor, for two private jet trips to the Caribbean, a substantial portion of his net worth. At the time Menendez said that there were no other trips.

As reported in the New York Post today:

Cuomo Calls it "Scandalmania"

John Sampson and Andrew CuomoThank you, Governor Cuomo, for giving a name to the epidemic of corruption that's coming to light in New York, much of it exposed by the National Legal and Policy Center. We don't even have an office or staff in the state. The graft is so rampant that we spotted it from hundreds of miles away by reviewing public documents and with, of course, help from some of the few honest people on the ground.

Cuomo yesterday told Susan Arbetter, a reporter with public broadcasting station WCNY:

John Sampson Busted; He Also Got Loan From Fraudster Ed Ahmad

John SampsonNew York State Senator John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) was arrested today, charged with embezzelment, obstruction of justice and making false statements to the FBI.

Also, the New York Daily News reports today that the FBI is investigating a $188,500 "loan" to Sampson from Edul Ahmad, the Guyanese-American businessman who pled guilty to charges in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

Queens Politics Paralyzed Amid Reports Ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley Wore FBI Wire

Shirley Huntley photoYesterday, the New York Times reported:

On Friday, prosecutors disclosed that Shirley L. Huntley, when she was a Democratic state senator from Queens, had secretly recorded conversations with seven elected officials and two other people after she was confronted by the F.B.I. and asked about her alleged participation in criminal schemes involving embezzlement and bribery.

NLPC exposed a sham charity Huntley founded called The Parent Workshop, to which she steered tens of thousands in taxpayer money. Our research was first reported in the New York Post of March 6, 2011, apparently triggering the criminal probe.

Grand Jury Investigating New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez

Robert MenendezThe Washington Post today reports that a federal grand jury is investigating Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) for pushing a Dominican port security deal that would have meant a windfall for Dr. Salomon Melgen, a major donor. The post security deal was first reported in the New York Times on February 1, based on information provided by NLPC.

Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Peter Wallsten cited unnamed sources for the existence of the grand jury and a related investigation. According to the story:

New York Times Came to Us For Info on Menendez, Not The Other Way Around

Lipton photoThe New York Times has an article today titled, "Inquiry of Democratic Senator Started With Partisan Push." The story by Eric Lipton describes our success in getting media coverage for our original research about Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and his relationship with a major donor, Dr. Salomon Melgen. Lipton then states that to Menendez and his staff our work is "proof that the news media frenzy focusing on his actions to help a Florida eye doctor is at least in part a political smear."

The only problem with this story line is that the New York Times approached us shortly before the January 29 FBI raid on Melgen's eye practice in Florida and asked us if we had any information on Melgen. We did not seek to place it with any news organization because there was (and is) even more to the story, and we were (and are) still researching it.

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