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FBI, IRS investigate Rep. David Rivera for ties to secret casino contract

 Federal investigators have opened a second criminal probe of U.S. Rep. David Rivera, examining undisclosed payments from a Miami gambling enterprise to a company tied to the Republican congressman, The Miami Herald has learned.

Agents with the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service have begun interviewing witnesses knowledgeable about a $1 million consulting contract between Flagler Dog Track — now known as Magic City Casino — and Millennium Marketing, a company co-owned by Rivera’s 70-year-old mother and her business partner, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

In the next few weeks, federal agents are scheduled to interview Lori Weems, a lobbyist and lawyer who drafted the consulting contract while representing the Magic City Casino, sources said. Earlier this year, FBI agents also interviewed Esther Nuhfer, a Miami lobbyist and political consultant with close ties to Rivera, sources said.

Members of the Havenick family, who own the Magic City Casino, have cooperated with investigators, who appear to be examining federal tax-evasion charges.

Both the FBI and the IRS declined to comment on the case. It's not so easy getting a comment out of Rivera, who is using a campaign email account to communicate with this disclaimer to our written questions:

"Please note, the statements below are attributable to the Rivera for Congress re-election campaign.  If you are unable to accept these statements as such, then consider them unattributable and for background purposes only."

Q. We've been told that the IRS and the FBI have been interviewing witnesses as part of an investigation of your finances, with a focus on the contract with the Flagler Dog track. Has the FBI or IRS contacted you or requested an interview?

A: No.  Any insinuation to the contrary is a continuation of the false, misleading and unattributed reporting that has characterized the Herald's coverage thus far.

Q:. Did you pay personal income taxes on any money received from the Flagler Dog Track/Magic City Casino?

A:  As stated to you last year by the campaign, Congressman Rivera has never received income from Flagler Dog Track/Magic City Casino.

Q: Did you pay personal income taxes on any money received from Millennium Marketing?

A:  As stated to you last year by the campaign, Congressman Rivera has never received income from Millennium Marketing.

Q: Did Millennium Marketing pay any taxes on money received from the Flagler Dog Track/Magic City Casino?

A: Please contact Millennium Marketing for any inquiries related to Millennium Marketing.

Q: We've been told that someone acting on behalf of Millennium Marketing contacted Magic City officials in the past few weeks and requested the remaining $500,000 success fee that had not yet been paid under the Millennium contract. Were you aware of this request? Did you make this request, or direct this request in any way? Can you explain why Millennium decided to ask for that money, and why that money had not been requested over the past 2 1/2 years?

A:  Please contact Millennium Marketing and/or Magic City for any inquiries related to Millennium Marketing and/or Magic City.

Q: Have you hired a criminal defense attorney? If so, who is it?

A:  No

More here

Comments

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NewFLSenator

Is that Esther Nuhfer, as in Marco Rubio's Puerto Rican travel buddy? http://www.flickr.com/photos/63622372@N05/5794392008/in/set-72157626753071139/

rene

hahaha. marco, david, esther, and alina all use to live together in the foreclosure home in tallahassee. i can only imagine the kind of political consulting that when on in that house.

Jorge Alvarez

So basically these two rubio and rivera setup friends and family as consultants to get a kickback. The problem in this state is that there are no qualifications to be a consultant. My abuela can be a consultant. So what's the difference if I give money to my neighbor, my friend, or my abuela?

guess who

Too funny! I bet riveras mom lived in the tallahassee house with them. She made his bed in the morning.

Robert Jenkins

My oh my. These political games in Florida is like shopping at Publix, you know Buy one, get one free. I suppose if "I" were given so much "free" money; I'd try double speak before I told the truth as well. Thinking the FBI and IRS are thinking caught one get one free. $33,000.00 in campaign contributions, this quater; wowser!!! David this Casino needs you no longer; I suppose they will treat you like a greyhound that can no longer win. In a manner of speaking of course. You can run; but you can not hide. So the pool game of Marco Polo is over; as will (I'm sure) any support from Marco Rubio.

marco's a good boy

Aweeee but Marco Rubio is such a good guy and a good friend. I'm sure he'll learn to play fair.

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