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Rep. Henry Cuellar Charged with Bribery and Allegations of Acting as Foreign Agent

Henry Cuellar (Credits: Yahoo News Singapore)

An indictment unsealed in the Southern District of Texas today has charged U.S. Congressman Enrique Roberto “Henry” Cuellar, aged 68, and his wife, Imelda Cuellar, aged 67, both residing in Laredo, Texas, with involvement in two schemes related to bribery, unlawful foreign influence, and money laundering.

The indictment alleges that Congressman Cuellar and Imelda Cuellar accepted approximately $600,000 in bribes from two foreign entities between December 2014 and November 2021.

Henry Cuellar (Credits: NBC News)

According to court documents, the bribes were received from an oil and gas company owned by the Government of Azerbaijan and a bank based in Mexico City. These payments were allegedly laundered through sham consulting contracts and intermediary companies into shell companies owned by Imelda Cuellar.

In exchange for these bribes, Congressman Cuellar purportedly agreed to influence U.S. foreign policy in favor of Azerbaijan and to exert legislative pressure favorable to the Mexican bank.

The charges against Congressman Cuellar and Imelda Cuellar include conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery of a federal official, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, violating the ban on public officials acting as agents of a foreign principal, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering.

Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar (Credit: Spectrum News)

If convicted, they face maximum penalties ranging from five to 20 years imprisonment on each count.

The announcement was made by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the National Security Division, the FBI, and the Department of State Office of Inspector General.

The case is being prosecuted by Acting Deputy Chiefs Marco A. Palmieri and Rosaleen O’Gara, along with Trial Attorney Celia Choy from the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, and Trial Attorney Garrett Coyle from the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

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