To import rich donor’s babes
— who was then 20 — is a student and “a famous person in Spain” as the face of a TV network and won’t overstay her visa.
“Dr. Melgen is a person of the highest caliber,” Menendez writes in the February 2007 appeal. “He is a fine citizen and held in high esteem by his peers.”
A week later, the unidentified woman got her visa and traveled to Florida, where she stayed in a Melgenowned apartment in Palm Beach. She joined Melgen and Menendez for dinner at Azul, a restaurant in Miami’s Mandarin Hotel. Melgen introduced his lover to the senator and told her Menendez helped to get her visa, prosecutors contend.
Melgen has been linked to Svitlana Buchyk — a 28yearold Ukrainian model who lived in Spain before moving to Florida.
Buchyk was living in a condo rented byy Melgeng on Singerg Is land north of Palm Beach in 2009 when she became embroiled in a dispute because her name wasn’t on the lease. Buchyk listed her address as Melgen’s West Palm Beach office, according to a traffic ticket she received that same year for driving with windows that were tinted too dark.
On additional traffic tickets from 2010 and 2011, Buchyk’s address is a North Palm Beach home owned by Melgen.
Buchyk told the Miami Herald in 2013 that she worked for Melgen in the past and that he was “an amazing person.”
“He treated me very well,” she told the paper. “He had money.”
Buchyk now uses the name Lana Moyzuk and lives in Los Angeles. In a bio on her Web site, she contends she didn’t come to the United States until 2011.
Buchyk has bounced from apartment to apartment in the past few months.
“We didn’t see her much, but she stuck out,” said Julia Hernandez, a neighbor of the Spanishstyle bungalow Buchyk briefly rented in North Hollywood.
Gerald Greenberg, a lawyer for Buchyk, said she and Melgen were friends but declined to comment further.
MTHE DOMINICAN ENENDEZ and his staffers went to the greatest lengths to obtain visas for a 22yearold Dominican woman — identified by prosecutors as “Girlfriend 2”— and her 18yearold sister, who wanted to visit Melgen around Christmas in 2008.
The doctor wrote to the US Em bassy in Santo Domingo on Oct. 13, 2008, assuring officials he would cover expenses for the sisters and that they would return home. That same day, he asked Menendez to follow up with the embassy in order to “move the letter along.”
Menendez passed on the request to Lopes, his senior foreignpolicy adviser whose actual duties included representing Menendez on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The staffers drafted a letter from Menendez to the consul general and asked that the sisters’ applications be given “all due consideration.”
The senator told Lopes to not only send the letter, but to call “if necessary.” But after their interview, an embassy employee denied the visas for the sisters, saying that neither was working and had “no solvency of their own.”
When Menendez learned of the denial, he told Lopes: “I would like to call [the] ambassador tomorrow and get a reconsideration or possibly our contact at State.”
An unnamed highranking State Department official wrote to Menendez that he agreed with the rejection, saying the sisters had not been convincing about their eventual return to their home country. But a few weeks later, the State Department decided to reinterview the women and they were granted visas.
When the approval finally came, Lopes wrote in an email to a colleague that it was “ONLY DUE to the fact that RM intervened.”
Lopes refused to comment.
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ Helped donor with girl problems.