Fri. May 24th, 2024

Two political operatives struck plea deals in Rep. Henry Cuellar’s bribery case

By 37ci3 May10,2024



It was tied to a pair of political operatives Rap Henry CuellarD-Texas agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with them Department of Justice‘s bribery lawsuit against Cuellar, according to court documents, was opened this week.

Mina Colin Strother, Cuellar’s former campaign manager and chief of staff, and Florencio “Lencho” Rendon, a Texas businessman described in court documents as a “close associate” of Cuellar’s, both signed plea agreements in March.

Ministry of Justice last week announced the indictment He accused Cuellar and his wife Imelda of taking $598,000 in bribes from foreign entities, including a Mexican bank and an oil and gas company controlled by Azerbaijan.

Strother and Rendon were both charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with the scheme.

Cuellar and Rendon allegedly hatched the scheme in 2015 after learning the bank was having trouble doing business in the United States. comes to Cuellar’s wife, according to court documents.

Rendon approached Strother about a project to test and certify a fuel additive sold in the United States by a Mexican company, and said that Strother would pay him $11,000 a month, provided that Strother would send Cuellar’s wife $10,000 a month. documents.

Rendon paid Strother $242,000 in monthly installments between March 2016 and December 2017, according to court documents. Strother used the money to pay Cuellar’s wife $10,000 each month, for a total of $214,890, authorities said.

Strother, who eventually realized the fuel company’s project was a “bogus,” realized the payments were meant to “transfer money” to Cuellar without reporting it in Cuellar’s annual financial statements, according to court documents.

Rendo faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and Strother up to five years.

Cuellar’s attorney told NBC News on Thursday that he is not concerned about the plea agreements.

“If Rendon and Strother are telling the truth, we’re not concerned,” said attorney Chris Flood.

A Justice Department spokeswoman and attorneys for Strother and Rendon did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday night.

Cuellar said in a statement before the charges were unsealed last week denied any wrongdoing and said it was “proactively seeking legal advice” from the House Ethics Committee.

“I want to be clear that both my wife and I are innocent of these charges. “Everything I’ve done in Congress has been to serve the people of South Texas,” he said.

He added that he will continue his bid for re-election. Two Republican parties are fighting for the nomination in the second round of the elections this month. The winner will face Cuellar in the fall. Cuellar had no main rival.



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