Man Accused Of Providing Bob Menendez’s Wife With Mercedes Pleads Guilty To Bribery

A defendant who was indicted alongside Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey in a federal corruption case pled guilty to charges against him on Friday, according to The New York Times.

Jose Uribe is a businessman in New Jersey — with interests in trucking and insurance — who was indicted on Sept. 22, 2023, for having allegedly participated in several schemes to bribe Menendez in exchange for favors using his political influence. On Friday, Uribe became the first defendant in the case to plead guilty to seven charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and tax evasion, among others, the Times reported.

Uribe’s plea was heard and accepted by Judge Sidney Stein, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, and scheduled his sentencing hearing for June 14, with the plea agreement requiring his full cooperation with the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case. The trial for Menendez and the remaining co-defendants — his wife Nadine Menendez and associates Wael Hana and Fred Daibes — is scheduled to begin on May 6.

Read the superseding indictment of Menendez and Uribe here:

Superseding Indictment, United States v. Menendez, Et. Al., No. 23-Cr-00490-SHS (SDNY, Oct. 12, 2023), ECF… by Daily Caller News Foundation on Scribd

Uribe must “truthfully and completely disclose all information with respect to the activities of himself and others concerning all matters about which this office inquires of him,” reported the Times.

While Menendez has not pled guilty to any offense, Uribe pled guilty to participating in a bribery scheme whereby he furnished cash payments to Nadine Menendez for her to purchase a black Mercedes Benz C-300 convertible worth $60,000 in exchange for Robert Menendez allegedly using his political influence to thwart a state-level criminal investigation of one of Uribe’s employees. Uribe’s plea agreement reportedly states that he provided the car “with the intent to influence an official act,” according to the Times.

Uribe also allegedly furnished payments of cash and valuable items to Menendez in exchange for using his office to shape U.S. foreign policy to benefit the government of Egypt, over which Menendez had influence as the ranking member, and later chairman, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Those things of value included hundreds of thousands of dollars in checks, cash, and gold,” reads the indictment.

The ongoing prosecution has dealt a heavy blow to Menendez’s political standing and career. He resigned as chairman and member of the Foreign Relations Committee and has faced a cascade of calls to resign from Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, fellow Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and over half of his other Democratic colleagues in the Senate.

Currently, Menendez has a 6% approval rating among his constituents in New Jersey and will see his term expire in January of 2025 unless he runs for reelection in November. While Menendez has not announced his reelection campaign, Democratic Rep. Andy Kim of New Jersey is currently the frontrunner in the race, having announced on the day of his indictment and has run an anti-Menendez campaign.

Menendez’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Arjun Singh on March 1, 2024

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