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Menendez denies prostitution allegations

MIAMI, Jan. 30 (UPI) — The office of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., issued a statement Wednesday denying allegations a Florida doctor who is a friend lined up prostitutes for him.

The FBI Tuesday raided the office Dr. Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor practicing in West Palm Beach, Fla., who is the target of an Internal Revenue Service lien for more than $11 million, The Miami Herald reported. The newspaper said federal investigators were believed to be looking into Melgen’s finances as well as the allegations about prostitutes.

“Dr. Melgen has been a friend and political supporter of Senator Menendez for many years,” the statement issued by the senator’s office said. “Senator Menendez has traveled on Dr. Melgen’s plane on three occasions, all of which have been paid for and reported appropriately.

“Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically motivated right-wing blog and are false.”

Melgen has been a major contributor to Menendez’s and other political campaigns. Menendez has flown to the Dominican Republic at least once on Melgen’s private plane.

The Center for Responsive Politics said Melgen has contributed more than $200,000 to mostly Democratic candidates and various political committees since 1990, Roll Call said.

The Daily Caller, a conservative news website, reported just before last year’s election Menendez, who is divorced, had had sex with two prostitutes at a resort in the Dominican Republic. The story included interviews with two women who said they were prostitutes.

Menendez won a second full term in the Senate in November with almost 60 percent of the vote.

Recently, reporters received copies of email exchanges between an FBI agent based in Miami and a man using the name Peter Williams, who said some of the prostitutes were minors. Williams refused to meet with the agent face to face, the dossier indicates.

Neither the FBI nor the agent, Regino Chavez, would comment, the Herald said. But the newspaper said sources in the FBI said the email exchange was genuine.

Menendez denied any wrongdoing when questioned by a Daily Caller reporter Monday during a ride on the subway linking the Capitol and Senate office buildings, saying the site had made “fallacious allegations.”

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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