Lawsuit filed against former Miami congressman over work with Venezuela

A fresh wave of allegations have been made against former Miami congressman David Riviera in a civil suit. The suit was filed on Friday in New York federal court by several people who oppose Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The suit alleged that Riviera signed a $50 million consulting contract with Venezuela’s government, however, did not appear to complete any work. As reported by CBS News, the suit alleged that Riviera channeled a large portion of his fee to a yacht company on behalf of a billionaire, who is on the run from the law.

Rivera’s Interamerican Consulting was also sued in 2020 by PDV USA, who are a Delaware-based sister company of Venezuelan-owned Citgo. The suit alleged that Rivera performed no work for the $50 million contract he signed in 2017 for three months of “strategic consulting” meant to build bridges with key U.S. stakeholders.

Riviera has also the subject of other investigations. Miami authorities are investigating whether Rivera failed to register as a foreign lobbyist. This is required by law.

Riviera at this time has not been charged with any criminal acts, however the investigation has shed some light into his dealings with Venezuela’s oil industry.

Rivera claimed to only have received $15 million of the original amount, however the new filing states that he spent part of that on unexplained payments to a convicted drug trafficker and to a company managing yachts on behalf of a Venezuelan TV star, who was a fugitive, in the eyes of US authorities.

“Mr. Rivera never provided any services to Citgo and, it appears, never intended to do so,” according to the filing by PDV USA. “Instead, the true purpose of the agreement was to cover up illicit transactions.”




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