Sen. Menendez Indicted on Corruption Charges (April 2, 2015)
After several weeks of speculation, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was indicted yesterday on federal corruption charges over allegations he accepted bribes from a donor in exchange for political favors. The 68-page indictment, handed down by a grand jury in Newark, accuses Menendez of using the power of his Senate seat to benefit a Florida eye doctor and businessman, who allegedly repaid the senator with gifts, vacations and more than $750,000 in campaign donations. On Wednesday, Menendez denied any wrongdoing, claiming he and the doctor are longtime friends and that any gifts exchanged were part of that friendship, not in exchange for any political favors.
Sen. Menendez, a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, is known to the prepaid industry as the sponsor of several bills to place fee restrictions and other requirements on prepaid products. His legislation was introduced on several occasions but never moved forward. He introduced his last prepaid-focused bill in December of 2013. The senator has not reintroduced prepaid legislation recently, likely waiting for the CFPB final rule on prepaid accounts. Menendez also serves as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a role from which he has temporarily stepped aside in the wake of the indictment.
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