Local January 30, 2013 | 1:49 pm

FBI raids Florida offices of Dominican Dr. Melgen: El Nuevo Herald

MIAMI.- FBI agents on Tuesday raided the West Palm Beach offices of prominent Dominican ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, who according to press reports gave free flights to Dominican Republic for New Jersey Sen. (D) Bob Menendez, to meet with underage prostitutes, El Nuevo Herald reports.

The U.S. lawmaker called them "false allegations," and denied the accusations.

Agents with around 12 vehicles started to gather evidence in the clinic of the donor of Menendez’s political campaigns, and those of other prominent politicians.

The exact target of the investigation isn’t clear, nor whether it is linked with Menendez. Neither Menendez nor Melgen have issued statements.

The IRS has slapped a US$ 11.1 million lien on Melgen, for alleged unpaid taxes from 2006 to 2009, according to documents filed at the Palm Beach County Records Office.

Despite the financial woes, Melgen and his family have contributed at least US$357,000 to candidates and committees since 1998, according to federal and Florida campaign documents. Of that figure, Melgen contributed around 9 percent to Menendez’s federal campaigns.

The ophthalmologist also owns a Challenger CL-600 jet through one of his companies based in West Palm Beach, and travel frequently between South Florida and Casa de Campo, in his native city La Romana.

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