Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

Democrat lawmaker indicted on bribery, conspiracy

Department of Justice Seal (US Fish & Wildlife Service/
May 03, 2024

The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and his wife on bribery and conspiracy charges on Friday.

In a Friday press release, the Justice Department said the indictment charged both the congressman and his wife, Imelda Cuellar, for participating in two bribery schemes, money laundering, and unlawful foreign influence. The press release noted that the Democratic representative and his wife appeared in Houston on Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena Palermo.

Court documents show that from December of 2014 until at least November of 2021, both the Democratic lawmaker and his wife allegedly accepted roughly $600,000 in bribes from an oil and gas company owned by the Azerbaijan government and a bank in Mexico City.

“The bribe payments were allegedly laundered, pursuant to sham consulting contracts, through a series of front companies and middlemen into shell companies owned by Imelda Cuellar, who performed little to no legitimate work under the contracts,” the Department of Justice wrote in Friday’s press release.

“In exchange for the bribes paid by the Azerbaijani oil and gas company, Congressman Cuellar allegedly agreed to use his office to influence U.S. foreign policy in favor of Azerbaijan,” the Department of Justice added. “In exchange for the bribes paid by the Mexican bank, Congressman Cuellar allegedly agreed to influence legislative activity and to advise and pressure high-ranking U.S. Executive Branch officials regarding measures beneficial to the bank.”

READ MORE: Video: Arrest warrant issued for Democrat lawmaker: Report

According to the Justice Department’s press release, both the Texas representative and his wife have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery of a federal official to have the official act as foreign principal’s agent, two counts of bribery of a federal official, two counts of violating the ban that prohibits public officials from acting as agents for a foreign principal, two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, five counts of money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to conceal money laundering.

Several of the charges against the congressman and his wife are punishable by up to 15 or 20 years in prison.

Fox News reported that federal law enforcement authorities previously raided both the house and office of the Texas lawmaker in 2022 during an investigation into several U.S. businessmen.

Prior to the announcement of Friday’s indictment, Cuellar released a statement obtained by NBC News. “I want to be clear that both my wife and I are innocent of these allegations,” Cuellar said. “Everything I have done in Congress has been to serve the people of South Texas.”

Fox News confirmed that both Cuellar and his wife were released Friday on bond. According to NBC News, Cuellar indicated Friday that he will continuing running for reelection in the November elections.