The FBI is examining New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez's ties with a pair of fugitive bankers from Ecuador who now live in Coral Gables, NBC 4 New York is reporting.
Menendez's spokeswoman, Tricia Enright, downplayed the report, saying on Twitter "we're not aware of any inquiry here."
If the NBC report about the probe is true, it marks yet another Menendez investigation in South Florida or Latin America.
Almost a year ago to the date, the feds raided the West Palm Beach offices of Menendez's pal, Salomon Melgen, in a Medicare fraud scam. They also began investigating an underage prostitution scandal (likely false) involving the two in the Dominican Republic. Then the FBI gave a look at Menendez's involvement in a Dominican port-security contract connected to Melgen and a former Menendez aide. The AP uncovered a natural-gas deal that could have benefitted Melgen as well.
Now this from NBC:
The Department of Justice is investigating Menendez's efforts on behalf of two fugitive bankers from Ecuador, multiple current and former U.S, officials tell NBC 4 New York. The probe into Menendez’s dealing with the bankers comes as federal authorities are also investigating his relationship to a big campaign donor from Florida.
The criminal investigation is focusing in part on the senator’s ties to William and Roberto Isaias and whether the senator crossed a line in trying to help the two brothers stay in the United States.
The Isaias brothers have been fugitives from their native Ecuador for more than a decade -- sentenced in absentia for embezzling millions as the bank they ran there was collapsing.