Ex-Florida Congressman David Rivera Arrested For False Cooperation With Venezuela

Former Republican Rep. David Rivera of Florida was arrested Monday on charges of money laundering and representing a foreign government without registration.

Rivera, who represented a Miami-area district in Congress from 2011 to 2013, had signed a $50 million consulting deal with a state-owned Venezuelan oil company in the early days of the Trump administration, when the socialist country was trying to mend ties between the two countries normalize USA and Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro.

Rivera was arrested at an Atlanta airport and, according to the Associated Press, freed himself from prison Monday afternoon after appearing in federal court.

According to an eight-count indictment against Rivera and his former political adviser Esther Nuhfer, the former congressman was involved in a conspiracy to lobby on behalf of Venezuela to improve its standing with the US, settle a lawsuit with a Venezuelan oil company, and end it of US sanctions against the socialist country without registering as a foreign agent.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a news conference at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela on November 30, 2022.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a news conference at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela on November 30, 2022.
AP

“It was the purpose of the conspiracy for the defendants to unlawfully enrich themselves by engaging in political activities in the United States on behalf of the Government of Venezuela and representing the interests of the Government of Venezuela before United States officials and in attempting to Influencing U.S. foreign policy,” the 34-page indictment against Rivera and Nuhfer said.

Rivera’s lobbying firm Interamerican Consulting was sued in 2020 by PDV USA, a Delaware-based subsidiary of Citgo, a Venezuelan-owned oil company, over claims that the former lawmaker failed to meet its obligations under the multimillion-dollar contract it signed in 2017 for three months “strategic consulting work”.

The indictment alleges that Rivera scheduled meetings with senators, congressmen and White House officials in Washington, New York and elsewhere to advocate for the Maduro regime.

None of the lawmakers or officials he may have met with were named in the indictment.

“Over time, Rivera, Nuhfer, Foreign Person 1 and Person 1 used their portions of these funds to pay for various personal and business expenses such as: B. buying real estate, paying expenses for luxury yachts and, in the case of Rivera, contributing to his campaign for state offices [in 2018]”, says the indictment.

Rivera was previously under federal investigation for an alleged plan to secretly fund a Democratic opponent to take on a South Florida congressional rival and for his alleged involvement in a secret consulting deal with a Miami casino.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/06/ex-florida-congressman-david-rivera-arrested-for-false-agency-with-venezuela/ Ex-Florida Congressman David Rivera Arrested For False Cooperation With Venezuela

JACLYN DIAZ

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