Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

In David Rivera investigation, suspected ringer charged in federal court in $81,485 scheme

A one-time candidate whose suspicious campaign finances led to an investigation of former Miami Congressman David Rivera was formally charged Friday in federal court with three crimes.

Justin Lamar Sternad pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, false-statement and illegal campaign-contribution charges.

Sternad, however, is expected to strike a plea deal as he cooperates with federal authorities as part of their investigation into Rivera, a Republican, and the former U.S. representative's close friend, Ana Alliegro, who managed Sternad's disastrous campaign. Sternad ran as a Democrat.

Neither Rivera nor Alliegro is listed by name in the 10-page federal charging document, which lists nameless "co-conspirators."

The co-conspirators helped steer $81,485 in cash to Sternad, who intentionally disguised the illegal campaign contributions by failing to list them on his federal campaign-finance reports.

The money paid for printing and mailing services for a batch of fliers, some of which attacked a Rivera rival, Democrat Joe Garcia, who beat Sternad in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary for the Kendall-to-Key West Congressional District 26 seat. Garcia went on to beat Rivera in the general election.

During the primary, Garcia's campaign complained that Sternad was a ringer, a stand-in attack dog doing Rivera's bidding.

Rivera, who has maintained his innocence, refused comment but pointed to past statements in which he said he never has been informed by authorities of a federal investigation.

In David Rivera investigation, suspected ringer charged in federal court in $81,485 scheme 02/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 22, 2013 4:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  2. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  3. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  4. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  5. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.