3 People Plead Guilty In Federal Corruption Case Against Democrat Henry Cuellar
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, questions Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing titled Fiscal Year 2024 Request for the Department of Defense, in Rayburn Building on Thursday, March 23, 2023.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Three people have pled guilty in the federal criminal investigation into Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and his wife allegedly accepting bribes from foreign entities in exchange for taking official actions as an elected official to further the interests of those entities.

The 68-year-old congressman was charged along with his wife, Imelda Cuellar, 67, with allegedly participating in two schemes involving bribery, unlawful foreign influence, and money laundering, the DOJ said in a statement.

The Cuellars allegedly took nearly $600,000 in bribes from an oil and gas company that is wholly owned and controlled by the government of Azerbaijan and a bank that is headquartered in Mexico city.

Two of Cuellar’s political consultants — former aide Colin Strother and Florencia Roden — struck plea deals earlier this year on felony money laundering charges related to the bank in Mexico, The Associated Press reported. A third person, Irada Akhoundova, pled guilty earlier this month to acting as an agent for Azerbaijan without registering under Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The New York Times reported that Cuellar was in serious need of cash around the time that he allegedly started accepting bribes as he reported being worth as little as $29,000 in 2013.

A lawyer for Cuellar said that the “suggestion that there is a financial desperation that would create a motive for bribery” was false and that the congressman “lives within his means, and like anyone else, his net worth goes up and down.”

“The fact that he’s had success doesn’t change his roots. He’s never forgotten where he came from,” the lawyer said. “There was no quid pro quo. His actions in this matter were lawful, transparent and entirely consistent with the actions of many of his colleagues and consistent with his own principles and the interests of the country.”


Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) was indicted on similar criminal charges last fall and jury selection for his trial started this week.

Federal prosecutors have charged Menendez with 16 criminal counts, including conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, a charge accusing him of conspiring to act as a foreign agent for Egypt, obstruction of justice, and other related corruption charges. The allegations include claims that Menendez was bribed with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars, and a Mercedes-Benz.

Related: Democrat Senator Menendez Poised To Blame His Wife For Alleged Crimes: Reports

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  3 People Plead Guilty In Federal Corruption Case Against Democrat Henry Cuellar