Contribute
CONNECT:

research

Sen. Menendez’s “Longtime Friend” Dr. Melgen Sentenced To 17 Years In Jail

- February 22, 2018

DR. MELGEN WAS CONVICTED OF 67 CHARGES FOR OPERATING A "MASSIVE" MEDICARE FRAUD SCHEME, AND TODAY WAS SENTENCED TO 17 YEARS IN JAIL

Dr. Melgen Was Involved In A Massive Fraudulent Billing Scheme

Dr. Melgen Was Convicted In April 2017 Of 67 Charges For Operating A "Massive" Medicare Fraud Scheme. "Chalking up one of the biggest health-care fraud convictions in the nation, a federal jury on Friday convicted Palm Beach County retinal specialist Dr. Salomon Melgen of 67 charges for operating what prosecutors called a massive scheme that robbed Medicare out of as much as $105 million." (Jane Musgrave, "Eye Doc Melgen Guilty In One Of Nation's Biggest Medicare Fraud Cases," Palm Beach Post , 4/28/17)

  • Dr. Melgen Was Sentenced To 17 Years In Jail And Must Pay $42.6 Million In Restitution To Medicare . "Dr. Salomon Melgen was handed a 17-year sentence and was ordered to pay $42.6 million in restitution to Medicare. The judge said he may be ordered to pay more in the future." (Jane Musgrave, "UPDATE: Melgen Sentenced To 17 Years, Ordered To Pay $42 Million-Plus," Palm Beach Post , 2/22/18)

Prosecutors Accused Melgen Of Falsely Diagnosing Patients And Performing Unnecessary Tests And Treatments. "A prominent Florida eye doctor tied to a U.S. senator's alleged corruption built much of his fortune by defrauding Medicare and instilling false hopes in his patients, a federal prosecutor told a jury Thursday. Salomon Melgen stole millions from Medicare between 2008 and 2013 by falsely diagnosing patients and by performing unnecessary tests and treatments." (Terry Spencer, "Prosecutor: Eye Doctor Profited By Fraud, False Hopes," The Associated Press , 3/9/17)

During The Trial, A Top Retina Specialist Used Words Like "Abusive, Unconscionable, And Horrifying," To Describe Melgen's Conduct. "One of the nation's top retina specialists used words like 'abusive, unconscionable, and horrifying' this week to describe treatment Palm Beach County ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen gave patients at four once-bustling clinics he operated from Delray Beach to Port St. Lucie. 'It's terrible and disgraceful and I'm embarrassed for our entire profession,' Dr. Julia Haller, ophthalmologist-in-chief at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, said while reviewing patient charts that showed Melgen billed Medicare for diagnostic tests of prosthetic and blind eyes that she said were clearly beyond saving." (Jane Musgrave, "Top Retina Specialist Extremely Critical Of Melgen In Fraud Trial," Palm Beach Post , 3/29/17)

Former Colleagues Of Melgen Told The Jury That Melgen's Diagnoses Of Patients Were "Unsettling." "But soon after Melgen began working at the Aker Kasten Eye Center in 2002, optometrists began voicing concern that every patient Melgen examined was receiving a diagnosis of wet macular degeneration and being zapped with lasers, Aker said. 'That was what was unsettling,' Aker this week told a federal jury that will decided whether Melgen bilked Medicare out of as much as $105 million. 'It seemed there was an epidemic of wet macular degeneration with these patients.'" (Jane Musgrave, "Melgen's Diagnoses Of Macular Degeneration An 'Epidemic,' Boca doc says," Palm Beach Post , 4/4/17)

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) "Expressed Sympathy" For His "Dear Friend Sal" Noting That The Doctor Has Maintained His Innocence. "In a statement, Menendez expressed sympathy for his "dear friend Sal" and his family. 'While I am not familiar with their legal options, I do know Sal has maintained his innocence and will continue to fight for justice in his case,' Menendez said." (Jane Musgrave, "Melgen's Diagnoses Of Macular Degeneration An 'Epidemic,' Boca doc says," Palm Beach Post , 4/4/17)

Dr. Melgen Was Also Charged With Bribery Alongside His "Longtime Friend" Sen. Menendez

Dr. Melgen Was Also Charged With Bribery In New Jersey Alongside "Longtime Friend" Sen. Menendez . "Indicted in April 2015, a week after he was charged with bribery in New Jersey with Menendez, there was widespread belief that Melgen was targeted so he would turn on his longtime friend. He never did and both he and the powerful Democrat beat the corruption charges. A New Jersey jury deadlocked after a nearly three month trial in the fall and prosecutors late last month announced they would not retry the case." (Jane Musgrave, "UPDATE: Melgen Sentenced To 17 Years, Ordered To Pay $42 Million-Plus," Palm Beach Post , 2/22/18)

SENATOR MENENDEZ WAS CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION FOR FAVORS HE DID FOR THE DOCTOR

Sen. Menendez Was Accused Of Using His "Political Influence" To Help Dr. Melgen Deal With His Medicare Billing Dispute Among Other Favors

Dr. Melgen Was Once Viewed As A "Pawn" In Sen, Menendez's Corruption Trial. "Once viewed as merely a pawn in federal prosecutors efforts to go after U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, Palm Beach County retinal specialist Dr. Salomon Melgen today is likely to be sent to prison for as long as two decades for bilking Medicare out of $73 million." (Jane Musgrave, "UPDATE: Melgen Sentenced To 17 Years, Ordered To Pay $42 Million-Plus," Palm Beach Post , 2/22/18)

  • Dr. Melgen's "Longtime Friend" Sen. Menendez Will Not Be Retired For "Operating What Was Described Was A Mutually Beneficial Bribery Scheme." "Meanwhile, his longtime friend, Menendez, is no long in danger of imprisonment. Federal prosecutors in New Jersey late last month announced they would not retry the powerful Democrat and Melgen for operating what was described was a mutually beneficial bribery scheme." (Jane Musgrave, "UPDATE: Melgen Sentenced To 17 Years, Ordered To Pay $42 Million-Plus," Palm Beach Post , 2/22/18)

A Grand Jury Opened A Corruption Investigation Into Menendez in March 2013. "As part of the grand jury investigation, the three people said, federal agents have questioned witnesses about the interactions between Menendez and Melgen, who contributed $700,000 last year to Menendez and other Senate Democrats. The grand jury has also issued subpoenas for Melgen's business and financial records, according to two people briefed on the probe who, like the others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe and ongoing investigation." (Carol Leonnig and Peter Wallsten, "Grand Jury Investigating Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) People Familiar With Probe Say," The Washington Post , 3/14/13)

Sen. Menendez Was Indicted In 2015, Accused Of Accepting Nearly $1 Million In Campaign Donations And Gifts In Exchange For Helping In Dr. Melgen's Medicare Billing Dispute. "Menendez was indicted in April 2015, accused of accepting nearly $1 million in campaign donations and gifts -- including numerous flights on Melgen's private plane and stays at luxurious vacation accommodations in the Dominican Republic and Paris -- in exchange for using his office to press for government action that would help Melgen's business interests. On one issue, Menendez advocated for policies that would have aided Melgen in a $9 million billing dispute with the government." (Jonathan Tamari, "Supreme Court Rejects Sen. Bob Menendez's Appeal In Corruption Case," Philadelphia Inquirer , 3/20/17)

The Charges Against Senator Menendez Included Using His "Political Influence" To Help Dr. Melgen Launch A Port Security Business And Supporting Visa Applications For The Doctor's Girlfriends In Addition To Helping With His Medicare Billing Dispute. "In a sprawling indictment filed in the 61-year-old senator's home state, federal prosecutors say Menendez illegally peddled his political influence to help his pal with both business and personal concerns - in exchange for nearly $1 million in gifts and donations. Topping the charges: the senator tried to resolve the West Palm Beach physician's multimillion - dollar billing dispute with the federal Medicare program. He helped Melgen launch a port security business in his native Dominican Republic. He even supported visa applications for the doctor's girlfriends from the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Ukraine." (Jay Weaver, "Sen. Robert Menendez, South Florida Eye Doctor Indicted In Federal Corruption Case; Corruption," The Miami Herald , 4/1/15)

Sen. Menendez Has Been Accused of Encouraging The State Department To Enforce A "Long-Dormant" Contract That Provided Port Security In The Dominican Republic After Dr. Melgen Purchased An Ownership Interest In The Company. "Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, has also been helpful to Dr. Melgen, according to records and interviews, in ways that could bring the doctor a highly lucrative windfall. Two years ago, Dr. Melgen despite an apparent lack of experience in border security issues, bought an ownership interest in a company that had a long-dormant contact with the Dominican Republic to provide port security. Mr. Menendez, who is chairman of the Senate subcommittee that holds sway over the Dominican Republic, subsequently urged officials in the State and Commerce Departments to intervene so the contract would be enforced, at an estimated value of $500 million." (Raymond Hernandez and Frances Robles, "Senator Has Long Ties To Donor Under Scrutiny," The New York Times , 1/31/13)

Sen. Menendez Failed To Report Flights On Dr. Melgen's Private Jet

Senator Menendez Admitted He Had Not Paid For Or Reported Four Flights On Melgen's Private Jet. "When the relationship between Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and campaign donor Salomon Melgen first made headlines, the senator admitted he goofed. He conceded he had not paid for or properly reported four flights (two round-trips) on Melgen's private jet and wrote a check to belatedly comply with Senate ethics rules. A year later, his campaign reimbursed Melgen for a third trip. Both times Menendez aides assured reporters that these were oversights and that the senator's travel had been thoroughly reviewed." (Jonathan Tamari, "Failure To Report Free Trips May Be Used As Evidence Against Menendez, The Philadelphia Inquirer , 4/12/15)

According To The Indictment, Senator Menendez Was Accused Of Accepting Private Plane Fights And Other Gifts From Melgen In Exchange For Menendez's Assistance. "In exchange, the former chair of the senate foreign relations committee is accused of accepting several private plane flights to a Caribbean resort, other gifts such as a luxury Paris hotel stay and a bounty of campaign donations, according to the indictment. The physician, who was also indicted, even contributed $40,000 to the politician's legal defense fund involving a recall issue." (Jay Weaver, "Sen. Robert Menendez, South Florida Eye Doctor Indicted In Federal Corruption Case; Corruption," The Miami Herald , 4/1/15)

Sen. Menendez Violated Senate Ethic Rules By Failing To Report Or Pay For Trips On Melgen's Private Plane Over A Period Of Several Years. "He conceded he had not paid for or properly reported four flights (two round-trips) on Melgen's private jet and wrote a check to belatedly comply with Senate ethic rules. A year later, his campaign reimbursed Melgen for a third trip. Both times Menendez aides assured reporters that these were oversights and that the senator's travel had been thoroughly reviewed. But a federal indictment charging Menendez with corruption has revealed free flights the senator never disclosed or paid for - nine others for him, sometimes with a guest - in apparent violation of Senate ethics rules." (Jonathan Tamari, "Failure To Report Free Trips May Be Used As Evidence Against Menendez, The Philadelphia Inquirer , 4/12/15)


Previous post

The Ten Most Popular Governors In America Are All Republicans

Next post

Perez & Ellison: A Comedy Of Errors
Republican National Committee

Connect With Us

Republican National Committee
Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
News & Videos
  • 310 First Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
  • 202-863-8500

By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive calls and SMS/MMS msgs, including autodialed and automated calls and texts, to that number from the Republican National Committee. Msg&data rates may apply. Terms & conditions/privacy policy apply 80810-info.com.

Paid for by the Republican National Committee. Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Committee. www.gop.com

By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive calls and SMS/MMS msgs, including autodialed and automated calls and texts, to that number from the Republican National Committee. Msg&data rates may apply. Terms & conditions/privacy policy apply 80810-info.com.

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.
Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Committee. www.gop.com