The U.S. Department of Justice has indicted Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and his wife, Imelda, for alleged bribery, money laundering schemes, and unlawful foreign influence.

The Democrat Congressman allegedly accepted $600,000 in bribes from two foreign entities in exchange for official acts as a member of Congress.

“The entities involved are an Azerbaijani state-controlled oil and gas company and a bank based in Mexico City,” Kanekoa The Great noted.

“The DOJ claims that ‘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,'” he added.

The Department of Justice stated:

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. 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.

Congressman Cuellar and Imelda Cuellar are each charged with the following offenses and if convicted, face maximum penalties as indicated: two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery of a federal official and to have a public official act as an agent of a foreign principal, five years in prison on each count; two counts of bribery of a federal official, 15 years in prison on each count; two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, 20 years in prison on each count; two counts of violating the ban on public officials acting as agents of a foreign principal, two years in prison on each count; one count of conspiracy to commit concealment money laundering, 20 years in prison; and five counts of money laundering, 20 years in prison on each count.


Per Fox News:

Cuellar and his wife have been released on bond, Fox News has confirmed.

The Cuellars are accused in two schemes involving bribery, unlawful foreign influence and money laundering, the unsealed indictment from the Southern District of Texas said.

Federal law enforcement raided Cuellar’s house and office in 2022 as part of an investigation into a group of U.S. businessmen, and their ties to the country. The representative and his office agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

Cuellar released a statement on Friday following reports of the upcoming indictment, declaring both himself and his wife as innocent without specifying the charges.

“I want to be clear that both my wife and I are innocent of these allegations,” wrote Cuellar. “Everything I have done in Congress has been to serve the people of Texas.”

The Texas representative specifically defended his wife and her qualifications, once again without specifying the nature of the indictments.

“Imelda and I have been married 32 years. On top of being an amazing wife and mother, she’s an accomplished businesswoman with two degrees. She spent her career working with banking, tax, and consulting. The allegation that she is anything but qualified and hard working is both wrong and offensive,” he wrote.

Cuellar and his wife, 68 and 67, made their first court appearance on Friday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena Palermo in Houston.

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