The indictment alleges that Representative Henry Cuellar and his wife received nearly $600,000 in bribes.

Texas Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar and his wife have been indicted in federal court in Texas for accepting nearly $600,000 in bribes from two foreign companies.

The alleged scheme took place from late 2014 through at least November 2021, the indictment says.

The congressman and his wife, Imelda Cuellar, made an initial court appearance in Houston on Friday and were released on $100,000 bond. They face multiple charges, including conspiracy to bribe a federal official, violating the ban on government officials acting as agents of a foreign president, and money laundering.

In a statement Friday, Cuellar said: “I want to be clear that my wife and I are innocent of these allegations. Everything I have done in Congress has been to serve the people of South Texas.

Cuellar said in his statement that the actions taken by Congress were “in the best interest of the American people” and that he would continue his bid for re-election in November. The congressman defended his wife, saying, “The allegation that she is qualified and hard-working is false and hurtful.”

“The actions I took in Congress were consistent with the actions of many of my colleagues and were in the best interest of the American people,” Cuellar said.

Prosecutors say Henry and Imelda Guller hatched a two-year scheme to collect bribes from foreign companies — including an oil and gas company “fully controlled by the government of Azerbaijan and a bank headquartered in Mexico City.”

In exchange for bribes from the Azerbaijan Oil Company, Guler “agreed to perform official acts in his capacity as a member of Congress, to perform acts in violation of his official duties, and to act as an agent of the Government of Azerbaijan” and the bank, the indictment states.

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Among those promises, prosecutors allege, Cuellar agreed to influence U.S. policy through “a series of legislative actions related to Azerbaijan’s conflict with neighboring Armenia,” giving a pro-Azerbaijani speech on the House floor and inserting language “favorable to Azerbaijan” into the law. The committee reports, and advocates “further legislative action on Azerbaijan’s conflict with neighboring Armenia.”

The Texas Democrat has reportedly pledged to influence financial regulations to benefit Mexican banks and their subsidiaries, including pressuring the executive branch on anti-money laundering enforcement practices that “threaten” their business interests and support reforms. Criminal Money Laundering Laws.

Prosecutors say the couple received bribes through shell companies owned by Imelda Cuellar. He reportedly spent tens of thousands of dollars on restaurants and retail stores to pay taxes, pay off debt, and use proceeds from bribery schemes. One purchase was for a $12,000 custom gown, according to the indictment.

Cueller’s home and campaign office in Laredo, Texas Raid By the FBI in 2022. The charges against Cuellar have not yet been made public.

A spokesman for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries issued a statement shortly after Cuellar’s charges were announced, saying the congressman deserves the presumption of innocence. But spokeswoman Christy Stephenson said Cuellar will temporarily step down from his top spot on the House Appropriations subcommittee while the investigation continues.

“Henry Cuellar has dedicated his life to public service and is a valued member of the House Democratic Caucus. Like any American, Congressman Cuellar is entitled to his day in court and the presumption of innocence throughout the legal process,” Stephenson said.

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The National Republican Congressional Committee quickly called on Cuellar to resign.

“If his colleagues truly believe in putting ‘people above politics,’ they will call on him to resign. If not – they are hypocrites whose statements of public service are not worth the paper they are written on,” NRCC spokeswoman Delaney Pomer said in a statement.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that a spokesperson for Hakeem Jeffries issued a statement following news of Guller’s allegations. This story and topic have been updated with additional improvements.

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