NJ businessman accused of bribing Sen. Bob Menendez claims they’re not friends, pleads not guilty

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An Egyptian-American businessman charged with bribing New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez with gold bars tried to distance himself from the alleged crooked pol Tuesday by claiming, by means of his lawyer, that they weren’t mates.

Wael Hana, 40 – previously of Edgewater, NJ – pleaded not responsible throughout a listening to in Manhattan federal courtroom over allegations he bribed the veteran Democrat with at the least two one-ounce gold bars, train machines, an air air purifier and three funds of $10,000 to his spouse Nadine Menendez, who can also be charged within the scheme.

Outdoors courtroom after the listening to, Hana’s lawyer Lawrence Lustberg stated his consumer didn’t contemplate himself friends with the longtime Backyard State senator, however admitted he had recognized Nadine for “many, a few years.”

“He pleaded not responsible as a result of he’s not responsible,” Lustberg stated.

The lawyer stated Hana left his spouse and three children behind in Egypt to indicate up for the case.

Wael Hana isn’t mates with Sen. Bob Menendez, his lawyer stated after his arraignment on bribery expenses Tuesday.

Justice of the Peace Choose Ona Wang allowed Hana to stroll free on a $5 million private bond secured by $300,000 money and shares of firm Capitol Administration LLC. It was unclear what Hana’s relationship was to the corporate.

Hana can not journey exterior of New Jersey and elements of New York.

He was charged in a sweeping indictment Friday with having a corrupt settlement with Menendez, through which the since-resigned chair of the Senate Overseas Relations Committee would allegedly dole out political favors for the Egyptian authorities and for Hana in change for the bribes.

Menendez has maintained his innocence and is because of be arraigned on Wednesday in Manhattan federal courtroom.

The Menendezes and two different alleged crooked businessmen additionally charged within the scheme are attributable to make their first courtroom appearances within the case on Wednesday.

Menendez, 69, allegedly ensured that the Egypt obtained “substantial navy support” from the US and offered their authorities officers with private details about the quantity and nationality of individuals working the US Embassy in Cairo, prosecutors claimed.

Hana’s firm, IS EG Halal, was additionally given a monopoly on halal certifications on American meals going to Egypt, regardless of no prior expertise in such certifications. When American officers pushed again on the monopoly, Menendez went to bat for Hana, prosecutors alleged.

Hana’s lawyer stated his consumer left his spouse and three children behind in Egypt to seem for the case.

In return, Hana allegedly paid Nadine $30,000 that she used to get her mortgage out of arrears and he gave the couple train tools and an air air purifier value 1000’s of {dollars}, the feds claimed.

Menendez additionally allegedly obtained a Mercedes-Benz convertible in a separate alleged bribery scheme with New Jersey businessman Jose Uribe, 56, in change for serving to Uribe’s affiliate and worker with felony instances, prosecutors claimed.

The senator can also be accused of pocketing two one-kilogram gold bars from New Jersey businessman Fred Daibes, 66, in change for serving to him in a felony case, the feds claimed.

A whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} discovered stashed in Menendez’s dwelling stuffed in envelopes together with inside his jackets together with his title on them are alleged to be ill-gotten features.

However the politician stated Monday that he’d been withdrawing lawfully earned cash from his financial institution accounts for years, a behavior he picked up from his Cuban immigrant father.

He has maintained his innocence and has stated he received’t resign from his seat, which he’s held since 2006.

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