Rep. Cuellar, Wife Charged with Accepting Bribes Tied to Azerbaijan 

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar

By Steve Neavling

Democratic U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar and his wife were indicted Friday on charges of conspiracy and accepting nearly $600,000 in bribes. 

The investigation focused on the couple’s ties to the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan. 

Between December 2014 and at least November 2021, Cuellar, 68, of Texas, and his wife accepted bribes from an Azerbaijan-controlled energy company and a bank in Mexico, according to the indictment, which the DOJ announced Friday.

In exchange for the bribes, Cuellar agreed to push for legislation that would benefit Azerbaijan and to deliver a speech in favor of the country on the floor of the U.S. House.

The FBI and Department of State Office of Inspector General investigated the case. 

The couple were taken into custody Friday and each was later released on $100,000 bond.

The couple also are facing charges of wire fraud conspiracy, acting as agents of foreign principals, and money laundering. 

The couple hid the payments of $25,000 per month by using a Texas-based shell company owned by Imelda Cuellar and two of the couple’s children, according to the indictment.  

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