The US Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, and his wife have been charged with bribery and conspiracy to conduct fraud and extortion under the guise of public authority.

Iran PressAmerica: "From at least 2018 up to and including in or about 2022, Menendez and his wife, Nadine Menendez, a.k.a. ‘Nadine Arslanian,’ the defendant, engaged in a corrupt relationship with three New Jersey associates and businessmen - Wael Hana a.k.a. ‘Will Hana,’ Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes, the defendants - in which Menendez and Nadine Menendez agreed to and did accept hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for using Menendez’s power and influence as a Senator to seek to protect and enrich Hana, Uribe, and Daibes and to benefit the Arab Republic of Egypt," according to an indictment published by the US Justice Department on Friday.

FBI special agents discovered “a lot of gold” provided by Fred Daibes – a builder, and one of the three businessmen – during a search of the Menendez couple’s home in New Jersey, according to Damian Williams, US attorney for the southern district of New York.

In a press conference on Friday, he said agents discovered approximately $500,000 of cash “stuffed into envelopes and closets”, some of which was “stuffed in the senator’s jacket pockets”.

The FBI also found the Mercedes-Benz car that Jose Uribe, another of the three businessmen and a former insurance agent, had provided the couple, he said.

“We are not done,” said Williams. “And I want to encourage anyone with information to come forward and to come forward quickly.”

Menendez, who has been in the Senate since 2006, and his wife face three criminal counts each, including conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. The senator’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.