Bob Menéndez case: A New York businessman pleads guilty to bribing the senator with a Mercedes

José Uribe, associated with the powerful Democrat, also agreed to cooperate with the Prosecutor's Office seeking leniency.

Businessman José Uribe, of Clifton, New Jersey, one of three defendants in the corruption case of powerful Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, pleaded guilty this Friday in Manhattan federal court. The media was not given advance notice of the court proceedings.

In total, Uribe pleaded guilty to seven charges, including conspiracy to commit bribery between 2018 and 2023, wire fraud, obstruction of justice and tax evasion. According to prosecutors, the businessman gave a Mercedes-Benz to Menéndez's wife as a bribe in exchange for political favors.

According to the AP agency, Uribe's guilty plea means that the businessman could face up to 95 years in prison; however, he would also get leniency if he cooperates and testifies against the other defendants, an offer he accepted.

The defendant also agreed to forfeit $246,000, the amount he earned from his criminal activities.

Nadine Menéndez, wife of Senator Menéndez, is also among those charged in the corruption case revealed last year.

In short, prosecutors accuse the couple of accepting bribes in cash, gold bars and the Mercedes in exchange for political favors in foreign affairs. Senator Menéndez served as president of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Upper House at the time.

Both he and his wife pleaded not guilty. All of the defendants, including the other two businessmen, are scheduled to be tried in May.