Third Person Pleads Guilty in Henry Cuellar Bribery Investigation

(WBAP/KLIF) — Federal investigators have secured a third guilty plea in connection with an investigation into U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar of Laredo, who is accused of accepting nearly $600,000 in bribes from an Azerbaijan-controlled energy company and a bank in Mexico.


Irada Akhoundova of Houston pleaded guilty to acting as an agent for Azerbaijan without registering with federal officials. Details of her guilty plea were unsealed on May 9th. Federal authorities charged Cuellar and his wife Imelda with accepting the money in exchange for the congressman advancing the interests of the former Soviet republic and the bank. He says they are innocent.

Cuellar was at one time the co-chair of the congressional Azerbaijan caucus and the indictment against him says an Azerbaijani diplomat referred to him in text messages as “El Jefe” or “The Boss.”

Court records noted Akhoundova’s plea agreement includes that she “fully cooperate with the United States.” The alleged bribes from Azerbaijani interests totaled more than $300,000.

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