Florida surgeon at center of Sen. Menendez trips

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Associated Press

Posted on February 2, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 2 at 5:04 PM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Two pictures are emerging of a Democratic campaign donor who is at the center of trips Sen. Robert Menendez made to the Dominican Republic.

There is the Dr. Salomon Melgen, who helps the blind see again and provides free services for some patients who can't pay. And there is the smooth political player and jet-setting multimillionaire who frequented the Dominican Republic, his native country. The FBI raided Melgen's offices in Florida this week, but it's not clear exactly what they were looking for.

Though facts remain piecemeal, a fuller portrait of Melgen is emerging. There are photos of the beaming doctor with prominent Democrats, including the New Jersey senator, a trail of checks written to politicians and a web of business interests that apparently fueled his wealth.

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