Police arrest former congressman David Rivera

December 7, 2022

Former Florida Republican Rep. David Rivera was arrested on Monday on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent.

Rivera served in Congress from 2011-2013 and later signed a $50 million consulting agreement with the Venezuelan government.

The issue

"A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida indicted Rivera in November, according to CBS News," the Daily Caller reported.

"The eight-count indictment includes meetings in Washington, New York and Dallas. Rivera used code words in chat messages, referring to Maduro as the 'bus driver,' a congressman as 'Sombrero,' and millions of dollars as 'melons,'" it added.

The rest of the story

"Pressure has been building on Rivera for more than two years after it emerged that he received the massive contract from a U.S. affiliate of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company as Maduro was trying to curry favor with the Trump White House," the Associated Press reported.

"Rivera’s Interamerican Consulting was sued in 2020 by PDV USA — a Delaware-based affiliate of Venezuelan-owned Citgo — for not living up to the contract he signed in 2017 for three months of 'strategic consulting,'" it added.

"Court records show that the U.S. officials had their own requirements for any potential deal, including seeking guarantees that Maduro would respect the outcome of free democratic elections. Maduro has refused to give such guarantees," NPR reported.

"The PDV USA court filings give several insights into Rivera's activities, drawn from depositions and discovery of evidence in the case. For one thing, the company alleges that Rivera doled out millions of dollars to Nuhfer and other associates, in what were termed payments to subcontractors," it added.

The congressman has made bail but will soon face a likely court appearance regarding the charges.

The concerns also run deeper than Rivera, as several unnamed lawmakers are mentioned in his records that could lead to additional investigations.

Rivera's arrest was no surprise, but the depths of the scandal and those connected could make for an even more concerning case.

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