Menendez Waded Into Top Donor's Fraud Case
Senator's relationship with Salomon Melgen comes under scrutiny
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 7, 2013 9:50 AM CST
This July 20, 2009 photo shows Dr. Salomon Melgen at his office in West Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Hector Gabino)

(Newser) – Sen. Robert Menendez twice tried to intervene on behalf of pal and major campaign donor Dr. Salomon Melgen in the optometrist's ongoing battle with Medicare over alleged fraud, the Washington Post and New York Times report. Melgen is accused of overbilling Uncle Sam to the tune of $8.9 million—he allegedly would stretch out a single vial of a drug among multiple patients, then bill Medicare as if they'd each gotten a full dose.

Menendez tried first in 2009 and again in 2011 to convince Medicare officials they were being unfair to Melgen. Menendez's office says the senator didn't know of any fraud investigation; he was just raising concerns that the rules were ambiguous or hard to understand. After an initial period of apparent shock, Menendez has begun a forceful backstage push back against the allegations swirling around him, attempting to convince Democrat pundits that the scandal is trumped up, Politico reports.

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Showing 3 of 3 comments
Feb 8, 2013 6:18 AM CST
Senator sounds like a perfect canidate for the Obama administration.
Feb 7, 2013 12:24 PM CST
We know why you intervened on behalf of your campaign donor and it isn't because the rules are hard to understand. If you get into an area of where you are wondering if this is crossing the line, then you probably shouldn't do it. If you aren't that sure - spend some of the millions you are making and hire a damn lawyer to advise you. I can't believe I am advocating asking a lawyer to advise of the ethically correct thing to do. But in your case Dr. Salomon Melgen, a lawyer has more credible ethics. That is not saying much.
Bill Inaz
Feb 7, 2013 11:40 AM CST
His "circling the bowl" is increasing in speed every day.