Watch CBS News

Feds arrest former Miami Congressman Rep. David Rivera

What we know about former Miami Congressman Rep. David Rivera's indictment
What we know about former Miami Congressman Rep. David Rivera's indictment 03:30

MIAMI - Law enforcement officers arrested former Miami Congressman David Rivera Monday in Atlanta, Georgia, where he made his initial court appearance before a federal magistrate judge.  

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

Rivera and a codefendant are accused of acting as an unregistered agent of Venezuela while Rivera was running for office in the Florida state legislature. 

He allegedly violated FARA by lobbying politicians and others for the normalization of relations with Venezuela in 2017, which included working on a legal dispute with a US oil company and against sanctions. 

The indictment alleges the two never notified the US government or the officials with whom they met that they were being paid by Venezuela...concealing their payments from scrutiny. 

Rivera and his codefendant, Esther Nufher, allegedly signed a contract worth $50 million to work on Venezuela's behalf without notifying the US government, working to resolve the oil company's legal dispute by engaging an unnamed Texas congressman. 

Later in 2017, Rivera is accused of refocusing his lobbying efforts on a WH adviser and a Florida Senator to further Maduro's goal of normalizing relations with the US. 

On April 2, 2018, thanks for Rivera and Nufher's help, the congressman met with Maduro in Venezuela - Pete Sessions is said to have traveled then. 

The pair also faces money laundering charges. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.