With friends like these, who needs enemies? It has now been more than two weeks since U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was indicted on bribery charges which allege he traded political favors for luxury treatment from Florida optical surgeon Salomon Melgen. Facing eight counts of bribery that could net him serious fines and jail-time, the senator’s defense is likely to center around one simple explanation: “We were friends.”
The ultimate validity of this defense may rely on whether or not Mr. Menendez’s attorneys can prove this friendship in a court of law. If it backfires, the senator can end up paying more than he bargained for on those golf outings and vacations.
Despite what many tend to believe, white-collar crimes like bribery and corruption are punishable by a whole lot more than a slap on the wrist. If convicted, Sen. Menendez can face up to 15 years per count, which translates to up to 120 years in prison.
If you’re facing any kind of white-collar charge, it’s imperative that you seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. This particular case will ultimately come down to the definition of friendship. According to the indictment, Sen. Menendez received nearly $1 million in gifts from Melgen, including campaign contributions, private jet-flights and vacations. His attorneys are alleging that their friendship was genuine and that the senator will be exonerated.
The prosecution must prove that these gifts were given to Menendez in an attempt to receive something in return. Sen. Menendez is sticking to his story and hiring a qualified lawyer to help him tell it.
White-collar crimes are not a joke, nor are they victimless. These are criminal charges and require sound legal representation. The Law Offices of John Tumelty has a long and successful history of helping clients facing criminal charges in New Jersey. Contact us today for a free consultation.