Miami News

Money laundering: Ex-congressman David Rivera arrested by Feds

David Rivera, once a key political player, was arrested on Monday for money laundering and representing a foreign government

Law enforcement officials arrested former Miami congressman David Rivera on Monday. He is accused of money laundering and not registering as a foreign agent. The case has stemmed from Rivera’s $50 million contract with Venezuela’s oil company and government to thaw the country’s relationship with the US.

David Rivera arrested for money laundering

Riveria was arrested in Atlanta and will be transferred to Miami to face charges. The indictment against him and Esther Nufer, an ex-Miami Dade political consultant, accuses the duo of conspiring against the United States, not registering as foreign agents when they worked to improve the Venezuelan oil company’s image in the US, and money laundering.

According to sources, Rivera posted bail after he made an appearance in federal court in Atlanta. Jeffery Feldman, Rivera’s defense attorney, refused to comment on the situation and the charges against the former South Floridian congressman.

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Image-Alt: dollars

David Rivera and his ties with Venezuela

In the past, David Rivera has said that he was never working as a consultant for the Venezuelan government but as a US subsidiary of the country’s oil company. However, according to the indictment, Rivera and Nufer were actively lobbying to improve the relationship between both countries and prevent economic sanctions and instability against Maduro’s government.

The indictment states that Rivera had met with a US senator in 2017 to discuss a plan, but it was fruitless as Maduro’s government refused to make a deal. It is also stated that the ex-congressman met with a wealthy Venezuelan businessman in 2018 to host a meeting between President Maduro, Congressman Pete Sessions, and other Venezuelan politicians to discuss how to stabilize US-Venezuela relations. However, nothing happened.

Before becoming a congressman, Rivera was a Florida legislator from 2003 to 2010. He has previously been related to election-related controversies like handling the funding of an anonymous Democratic candidate so he could win a South Florida congress race, misuse of campaign funds, and an investigation about hiding a million-dollar contract with a gambling company.

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