Doctor tied to Menendez indicted on Medicare fraud charges

AP News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2015 7:56 PM

MIAMI (AP) — Melgen graduated from medical school in his native Dominican Republic and has lived in the U.S. since at least 1980, holding posts across the country while building a reputation as a top eye surgeon, records show. He was licensed in Florida in 1987 and treated "presidents, governors, politicians, celebrities and actors," the website for his four-office practice boasted before being taken down when the initial charges against him were announced earlier this month.

Melgen and Menendez have been friends for decades. The senator has said they celebrated holidays and weddings together, mourned together at funerals and exchanged gifts on birthdays.

The corruption indictment unsealed earlier this month against the men claimed Menendez intervened on his friend's behalf to gain visas for Melgen's foreign girlfriends, press Dominican officials to honor a lucrative port contract for one of the doctor's businesses and influence CMS officials on the billing dispute. In exchange, authorities say, Melgen showered the senator with flights, vacations and contributions.