North Jersey developer Fred Daibes has withdrawn his plea to bank fraud that was dismissed by a judge
Prominent North Jersey developer Fred Daibes — linked to bribery charges brought by Sen. Bob Menendez — withdrew his guilty plea to bank fraud charges filed against him in 2018 a week after a judge rejected the agreement.
Daibes is one of five people charged in an alleged corruption scheme involving Menendez His wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, is in a separate case. Daibes demanded Not guilty to these charges.
U.S. District Judge Wigginton published a stipulation order for Daibes last week saying that after reviewing the offer report in the bank fraud case, the court rejected the plea agreement. The rejected agreement came after Daibes was charged in the Menendez indictment.
The indictment highlighted Menendez’s interference in De’Ebs’ bank fraud charges, which allege that Menendez nominated a U.S. attorney he believed could influence De’Ebs’ favor.
Why did Daibes withdraw his guilty plea?
The dismissed plea agreement stems from charges filed in 2018 against Daibes when he was charged with multiple counts of allegedly conspiring to circumvent lending limits set by Mariner Bank, which he founded in 2001.
In 2022, Daibes admitted receiving more than $1 million in gross revenue from Mariner Bank and pleaded guilty to making false entries in the loan note. His sentencing hearing has been postponed four times since then and was scheduled for October 26.
Daibes’ attorney, Lawrence Lustberg, sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigginton reports that Daibes is withdrawing his petition and asking the court to schedule a meeting to discuss future proceedings.
Lustberg filed withdrawal papers Friday and declined to comment further when reached Monday.
After Daibes denied his motion, U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna sent a letter notifying the court that the government had done so. She withdrew the plea agreement He also requested a case conference.
“The court is not required to abide by the terms of plea agreements, and cases may be handled less favorably toward defendants than anticipated by plea agreements,” Wigginton wrote in a letter rejecting the plea agreement.
The original indictment
Daibis and Michael McManus, Daibis’ chief financial officer, allegedly used others not named in the indictment to secure millions of dollars in loans — which were used to benefit Daibis — without the knowledge of the bank or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This activity occurred from 2008 to 2013.
The plea agreement was also rejected for McManus.
Daibes pleaded guilty to one count of the original 14-count indictment, which included a 2008 warrant for a $1.8 million loan candidate that falsely stated the borrower and the source of the repayment. The line of credit was actually to Daibes, who financed the repayment.
Daibes’s relations with Menendez
Last month, corruption and bribery charges were brought against Menendez by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The unsealed indictment said Menendez accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from three New Jersey businessmen, including Daibes, in exchange for helping them enrich themselves and trying to get them out of trouble.
The indictment said Menendez recommended that President Joe Biden nominate someone to be New Jersey’s attorney general who he believed could be influenced to thwart the federal criminal prosecution of Debes on bank fraud charges.
Before De’Ebis pleaded guilty, Menendez allegedly pressured Philip Selinger, both before and after he became U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, to relieve De’Ebis.
In December 2020, Menendez met with Selinger to consider whether he would support Selinger’s nomination for U.S. Attorney General. At the meeting, Menendez criticized Debes’ prosecution and asked Selinger to “look into” the case if he was nominated, the indictment says.
In early 2022, Menendez made brief phone calls with the First Assistant U.S. Attorney. At the time, Daibes’s driver, who was not named, called Nadine Menendez twice on January 24. Later that day, Nadine Menendez texted Daibes: “Thank you. Christmas in January.”
The driver’s fingerprints were later found on an envelope containing thousands of cash at Menendez’s home. Several days later, the senator searched Google for the phrase “price per kilo of gold.”
In March, Nadine Menendez met with a jeweler and showed him gold bars weighing one kilogram each and worth more than $120,000, according to the indictment. The serial numbers showed that the gold bars belonged to Daibes, the indictment states.
The following month, Daibes pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation in the bank fraud case.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Farid Daibes withdraws his guilty plea in a 2018 bank fraud case