According to CNN, Menendez is being investigated for his chummy relationship with Florida ophthalmologist (and frequent campaign donator) Salomon Melgen, particularly three instances in which the senator either lobbied to the doctor's financial benefit or accepted payments without filing proper disclosures.
First, Melgen's company, ICSSI, was accused by the federal government of overcharging them $8.9 million:
Menendez advocated on Melgen's behalf with federal Medicare administrators who accused Melgen of overbilling the government's healthcare program, according to court documents and people briefed on the probe. Melgen was among the top recipients of Medicare reimbursements in recent years, during a time when he was also a major Democratic donor. Melgen's attorneys have denied any wrongdoing.
Second, Menendez allegedly worked to protect an existing contract Melgen's company had with the Dominican government:
Prosecutors also are focusing on whether Menendez broke the law in advocating for Melgen's business interest in a Dominican Republic government contract for a port screening equipment. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, at the time, considered donating port screening equipment to the Dominican Republic, which would have hurt the contract of Melgen-controlled company.
Federal investigators are also reportedly looking into flights Menendez took to the Dominican Republic allegedly paid for by Melgen:
Investigators have focused in part on plane trips Menendez took in 2010 to the Dominican Republic as a guest of Melgen. In 2013, after word of the federal investigation became public, Menendez paid back Melgen $58,000 for the 2010 plane trips calling his failure to properly disclose the flights an "oversight."
The senator's supposed involvement in Melgen's Dominican affairs is uncanny given how the Cuban government might have schemed to make it look like Menendez had slept with underage Dominican prostitutes.
[Image via AP]