Sen. Bob Menendez Key Witness Testifies in Corruption Trial, Alleging Bribery and Mercedes-Benz Gifts

By Madz Dizon

Jun 08, 2024 12:23 PM EDT

 Sen. Bob Menendez Key Witness Testifies in Corruption Trial, Alleging Bribery and Mercedes-Benz Gifts
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) arrives for trial at Manhattan Federal Court on May 14, 2024 in New York City.
(Photo : David Dee Delgado/Getty Images))

During the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez, a significant witness, came forward on Friday to testify that he had provided bribes to the New Jersey Democrat. 

Broker Admits Gifting Luxury Car to Menendez's Wife for Influence

The witness also revealed that he had gifted a new Mercedes-Benz convertible to Menendez's wife, Nadine Menendez, in order to gain "power and influence" to impede criminal investigations.

According to WSGW, Jose Uribe, a New Jersey insurance broker, pleaded guilty in March and admitted to purchasing a $60,000 luxury car in an attempt to influence the senator. 

He is working closely with prosecutors. The senator has vehemently denied any allegations of accepting bribes.

On Friday, Uribe admitted to providing Nadine Menendez with a car in return for the senator's assistance in halting ongoing criminal investigations into two individuals associated with him, as conducted by the New Jersey attorney general's office. 

During his testimony, he revealed that he had given money to the senator alongside Wael Hana, the owner of a halal certification startup that prosecutors claim was involved in the payment of bribes to the couple.

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Bob Menendez Reportedly Took Mercedes-Benz as Bribe

According to court testimony, Uribe assisted Nadine in obtaining a $15,000 down payment for her new car, as well as subsequent car payments, in an effort to exert influence over Menendez.

Uribe, along with Menendez, his wife, as well as two other businessmen, reached a plea deal with prosecutors in March, Independent reported.

The government heavily relies on his testimony to establish Menendez's involvement in a long-term bribery scheme, where he received extravagant gifts, gold bars, as well as cash in exchange for leveraging his influence as a senator.

Based on prosecutors, Uribe was determined to assist two of his associates in escaping the insurance fraud investigation before the alleged bribery scheme was devised. 

Uribe expressed a strong personal connection with one of his associates, considering them to be like a family member.

Meanwhile, it appears that Nadine was in need of a new car and had expressed her concerns to Wael Hana, an Egyptian-American businessman who was implicated in the scheme. 

She had mentioned her need for a new car following a tragic car accident that resulted in the loss of a pedestrian's life.

Hana linked Uribe to Nadine, and it is claimed that the two conspired to secure a car for Nadine in return for leveraging her then-boyfriend's political power to make the investigation vanish.

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