Ex-U.S. lawmaker arrested for conspiring to behave as agent of Venezuela By Reuters


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. lawmaker David Rivera was arrested on Monday on prices of conspiring to launder cash and to illegally act as an agent of the Venezuelan authorities, based on a U.S. official and an indictment.

Rivera and affiliate Esther Nuhfer sought to enhance bilateral ties and stop additional U.S. financial sanctions towards Venezuela, with out disclosing this as required by the International Brokers Registration Act, based on the indictment.

In trade, Rivera’s consulting group Interamerican Consulting obtained $15,000,000 in funds in March and April of 2017 from PDV USA, a U.S. subsidiary of Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA, the indictment says.

“Legislation enforcement officers arrested David Rivera at present in Atlanta, Georgia, the place he made his preliminary courtroom look earlier than a federal Justice of the Peace choose,” wrote a spokesperson for the U.S. Lawyer for the Southern District of Florida.

“On November 16, 2022, Rivera was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting within the Southern District of Florida.”

They’re additionally charged with participating in transactions with in criminally derived property.

Reuters was unable to acquire remark from Rivera or Nuhfer.

The 2 sought to hide the character of their work when speaking with each other and with international officers, based on the indictment.

They used code phrases comparable to “melones” or “melons” rather than tens of millions and known as Venezualan President Nicolas Maduro “el guaguero,” a time period that in some international locations refers to a bus driver, Maduro’s career within the Nineties.

PDVSA’s U.S. belongings have been managed by Venezuela’s opposition since 2019.

In 2020, a PDVSA unit underneath opposition management sued Interamerican Consulting, stating it obtained $15 million from PDVSA however carried out no significant providers.

Interamerican paid tens of millions of {dollars} to an organization managing yachts for a Venezuelan businessman, based on data that emerged from that lawsuit.

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