A fierce campaign is underway against the dignity, the business and political relationships of Dr. Salomon Melgen. The campaign involves a complex network of anonymous accusations of prostitution connections, possible Medicare fraud and political ramifications in Washington.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday, in front of local TV cameras, the FBI raided Melgen’s offices in West Palm Beach, Fla., carrying out boxes of medical records.
FBI agents were joined by an inspector from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, indicating the search-and-seizure raid has ties to a possible Medicare fraud inquiry.
Since then, local and national news media have reported all kinds of speculation about the connections of the case with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and a contract to inspect containers in the seaports of the Dominican Republic.
While the U.S. news media investigates the political association between Menendez and Melgen, in Santo Domingo friends of the ophthalmologist defended his philanthropy and point out that behind the negative campaign are the groups that control the flow of merchandises and drugs in the Dominican Republic.
Melgen, co-founder of this digital media organization, is looking forward to start his ophthalmology practice soon to continue with the passion of his life: the treatment of his patients as one of the most respected eye doctors in Florida.
He is waiting for the official reason for the FBI investigation.
To follow the story this is a summary of the main facts:
The campaign against philanthropist Dr. Salomon Melgen
A few weeks before the elections on Nov. 6, 2012, the conservative Daily Caller website interviewed two alleged prostitutes who said they had sexual relations with Menendez at Melgen’s Dominican Republic mansion in Casa de Campo. The information said that one of the prostitutes didn’t get paid $500. After Menendez’s re-election, the news of this allegation died down.
Again, the Daily Caller website reported in January that an anonymous source said that one of the prostitutes was under age.
Emails from FBI agent Regino Chavez show that he tried to find out what happened. Chavez contacted the tipster Aug. 1, 2012, after the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington referred the case to the FBI. The tipster would not meet or speak by phone to CREW or to an investigative reporter.
The tipster, who went by the name “Peter Williams” refused to talk to Chavez by telephone or meet him face to face.
From Santo Domingo, Univision reported that nobody knows the prostitutes or the anonymous source of information. One of the girls mentioned in the report denied any involvement in the scandal.
The last report by The Miami Herald said: “A week after the claims made headlines in the United States and on this Caribbean island, the alleged prostitutes have disappeared. An attorney who once represented two of the women said he hadn’t spoken to them in months, and then stopped returning phone calls himself.”
The information by the Daily Caller was reported a couple of weeks before Menendez was appointed chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the first Latino ever to take this position. At the same time, Menendez was one of the key senators in the “Gang of Eight” to unveil a plan for immigration reform.