Henry Cuéllar
The Texas Rep. is in even hotter water following a new guilty plea Reuters

Texas Representative Henry Cuéllar is hotter water in the context of his corruption case, with the news of a new guilty plea further incriminating him and his wife as they stand accused of taking bribes from Azerbaijan and a Mexican bank.

The San Antonio Express reported on Tuesday that a woman from Houston admitted to facilitating a $60,000 payment to Imelda Cuéllar, the lawmaker's wife, who also stands indicted in the case.

Concretely, Irada Akhoundova said she unlawfully acted as an agent of the Azerbaijani government and a state-run oil company, actions that represent a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Akhoundova served as the president of the Houston-Baku Sister City Association, a nonprofit built to strengthen the ties between the American city and the capital of Azerbaijan. She was also the director of a U.S. affiliate of an Azerbaijani company between 2014 and 2017.

Cuéllar allegedly agreed to influence legislation favorable to the former Soviet republic and deliver a friendly speech on the House floor in exchange for the payments. He was at one point the co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus and also traveled to the country in 2013.

The woman is now the third person to enter a plea deal in the case, two political consultants having done so last week. They admitted to being involved in the payments from Banco Azteca, the other entity accused of bribing Cuéllar. Between the both, the lawmaker allegedly took roughly $600,000.

In this case, Cuéllar allegedly took money from the bank in exchange for influencing the Department of Treasury to work around an anti money laundering policy that went against the bank's interests.

The two consultants, Colin Strother and Florencio Rendon, allegedly helped him with the payments. They face up to 20 years in prison and six-figure fines for their actions, but hope to get leniency in exchange for their cooperation.

The two consultants engaged in a scheme where one would pay the other for a fake job, the other kicking back most of the sum. Overall, Rendon paid $261,000 over three years, $238,000 of which ended up going to Imelda Cuéllar.

The money originally came from the Mexican bank owned by Ricardo Salinas Pliego, one of the country's richest men. Neither him nor the bank have been charged with any wrongdoing.

Cuéllar has so far refused to resign from his post and said he will continue doing his job, although he did step down from his only committee assignment. However, his chief of staff, Jake Hochberg, has already left the lawmaker's team. Several others are considering a similar move, the outlet added, according to Punchbowl News.

Both Cuéllar and his wife Imelda were released on $100,000 bail each. Their trial is set to start this summer, but it could be delayed as a result of pre-trial legal disputes.

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