MIAMI (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Florida doctor charged in a corruption case along with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was indicted in his home state Tuesday in a 76-count Medicare fraud scheme.

Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said Tuesday that Dr. Salomon Melgen, 61, was charged with 46 counts of health care fraud as well as additional charges of filing false claims and making false statements.

Melgen is an ophthalmologist with offices in Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties in Florida. The indictment charges that he operated the fraud scheme between 2004 and 2013.

Melgen has already pleaded not guilty in a New Jersey corruption case.

Prosecutors said Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye doctor, provided Menendez with luxury vacations, airline travel and tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to a legal defense fund. Federal prosecutors also allege the senator pressured officials to resolve a multimillion-dollar billing dispute between Melgen and Medicare and helped secure travel visas for Melgen’s foreign girlfriends.

The senator has pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied Sunday he betrayed the public’s trust, saying once the facts are known, “I know that I will be vindicated and that we will win.”

Melgen attorney Annie Lyons declined comment Tuesday on the Medicare fraud charges.


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