Improper financial ties to physician leads to federal charges for NJ senator

Federal investigators are preparing to file criminal charges against New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez (D), who has been the subject of an FBI investigation for more than two years due to his ties to Salomon Melgen, MD, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In 1988, Dr. Melgen, an ophthalmologist, founded the Melgen Retina Eye Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. In 2012, he was the No. 1 recipient of Medicare dollars

in the U.S., receiving $20.8 million in Medicare Part B reimbursement.

The investigation into Sen. Menendez has focused on his relationship with Dr. Melgen, who is facing a federal probe over his billing practices, according to the report. The investigation is examining whether Sen. Menendez used improper means to help Dr. Melgen regarding the billing probe.

The investigation into the senator also centers on whether he used his influence in an improper manner on behalf of Dr. Melgen in a separate issue that concerned the Department of Homeland Security, according to the report.

Sen. Menendez is denying any wrongdoing. "I have always conducted myself appropriately and in accordance with the law," he said at a recent news conference, according to the report.

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