The heat may be turning up on New Jersey’s senior senator, and not because of today’s hot and humid weather.
A Florida doctor and reputed close friend of Senator Robert Menendez was convicted by a Florida federal jury of numerous criminal counts of Medicare fraud involving his improper billing of over $100 million in insurance claims.
Dr. Salomon Melgen was convicted and faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Despite being convicted on 67 separate fraud counts, he is almost certain to be sentenced “concurrently” and the maximum sentence any one charge can support is 20 years.
However, many defendants cooperate with the government in the hope that the government will recommend a more lenient term at sentencing. Melgen could take this approach, even after his conviction, and, theoretically at least, promise to offer meaningful information against Menendez.
An appeal is likely.
The investigation into Melgen also ensnared Menendez, who was indicted in April 2015 for allegedly improperly using his position to benefit the doctor. Menendez’s trial is tentstively scheduled for later this year.