Former Florida Representative David Rivera is arrested on charges related to Venezuela

David Rivera addresses American flags. In Coral Gables, Florida, David Rivera speaks. The former Miami congressman was arrested Monday in a federal investigation. Tallahassee— Federal officials, arrested former Florida Rep. David Rivera on Monday for his involvement with Venezuela’s repressive leadership.

Last month’s Miami grand jury indictment led to Rivera’s detention in Georgia on Wednesday. AP reported his arrest. Rivera and his former political strategist, Esther Nuhfer, were indicted on Monday night for conspiring against the U.S., failing to register as foreign agents, and illicit financial transactions, including money laundering.

Former Florida Representative David Rivera is arrested on charges related to Venezuela


“It was the purpose of the conspiracy for the defendants to unlawfully enrich themselves by engaging in political activities in the United States on behalf of the government of Venezuela, and by representing the interests of Venezuela before officials of the United States government and to influence United States foreign policy,” the 34-page indictment states.

Rivera was formidable budget chief in the Legislature before his brief Congress term. He lived with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), an ally in Tallahassee. Rivera attended the Florida Legislature’s one-day leadership election after leaving office.

Rivera’s defence counsel Simon Ferro didn’t respond. Rivera was criticized for not registering as a foreign agent while working for Venezuela’s state-owned oil corporation, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. The state-owned oil corporation hired Rivera’s Interamerican Consulting to consult.

Rivera must register as a foreign agent to work for Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.

However, Petróleos de Venezuela’s U.S. subsidiary sued Rivera, claiming he did no major work and seeking $15 million it paid to his firm.

The indictment alleges that Rivera and Nuhfer were hired in 2017, just after former President Donald Trump took office, to influence legislators on Venezuela’s behalf to improve relations with the government run by strongman Nicolas Maduro.

The indictment mentions talks with a Texas lawmaker and a Florida senator to curry favour for Venezuela. Former Rep. Pete Sessions was recognised in previous reports. Rubio advised the Trump administration on Latin American policy, but the indictment does not name him.

In July 2017, the Florida senator met in Washington D.C. to explore a possible compromise with the Maduro dictatorship to “conduct free and fair elections in Venezuela,” according to the indictment.

Rivera sent an encrypted text message to individuals participating in the initiative saying that the senator was meeting with Trump the next day and would “tell him that he has the possibility in his hands to solve the crisis.” Rivera texted the senator that the U.S. should “facilitate, not simply support, a negotiated solution” and “no revenge, reconciliation.”

In a later encrypted communication, Rivera stated the Florida senator had called him to warn him Maduro had to “give promises for December’s election.” The accusation alleges Maduro refused to pledge open elections and there was no senatorial conversation.

Rubio’s staff didn’t respond to Rivera’s indictment request.

After losing in 2012, Rivera departed Congress, prompting a federal probe. Democrat Justin Sternad and co-defendant Ana Alliegro acknowledged to secretly funding his primary campaign with more than $70,000 to undermine his Democratic opponent, Joe Garcia. Rivera deemed Garcia a bitter adversary after their 2010 matchup. In 2012, Garcia defeated Rivera again in the Democratic primary and general election.

The IRS and FBI began investigating Rivera’s role in a covert consulting contract between Magic City Casino, a dog track, and his mother’s marketing company in 2011, a year before the campaign-finance scandal.

In 2019, then-Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva, a Miami Lakes Republican, declined to impose roughly $58,000 in fines that the Florida Commission on Ethics had recommended because Rivera had failed to properly declare his income and double-billed taxpayers for travel expenditures while a legislator.

Read more:



About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top