Former South Florida Congressional Candidate Justin Sternad's Sentencing Delayed 90 Days

Sternad pleaded guilty in March to federal campaign violations

Monday, Jun 24, 2013  |  Updated 7:13 PM EDT
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The sentencing of former South Florida congressional candidate Justin Sternad on election fraud charges was pushed back 90 days on Monday.

The sentencing of former South Florida congressional candidate Justin Sternad on election fraud charges was pushed back 90 days on Monday.

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Ex-Candidate Accused of Campaign Finance Violations Surrenders

Justin Sternad, 35, was charged Friday with conspiracy to violate federal campaign laws, making false statements and accepting illegal contributions. Defense attorney Rick Yabor said he can't comment.

Witness is a No Show in Congressional Race Probe

The family of a witness who failed to appear for an interview with the FBI is worried about the woman s whereabouts, The Miami Herald reported. Ana Alliegro, a campaign manager for former Democratic congressional candidate Justin Lamar Sternad, was expected to be interviewed by authorities who are investigating the congressional race between Sternad and Republican Rep. David Rivera but failed to show, according to the newspaper. Her mother told The Herald she was very worried.
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The sentencing of a former South Florida congressional candidate on election fraud charges was pushed back 90 days on Monday.

Justin Lamar Sternad pleaded guilty in March to federal campaign violations, including accepting illegal contributions and filing false reports.

On Monday Sternad's attorney, Rick Yabor, said he wanted to make sure that the federal judge and prosecutors are familiar with Sternad’s level of cooperation in an ongoing federal investigation. Yabor also cited his client's disagreement with prosecutors over sentencing.

Yabor asked for a 90-day continuance of the sentencing, and the judge granted it.

The judge said she would like more time to evaluate the circumstances regarding a possible reduced sentence.

The case involves allegations that former congressman David Rivera secretly financed Sternad's campaign to weaken his Democratic rival, Joe Garcia.

Rivera has repeatedly denied any connection to Sternad, a one-time night auditor at a Miami Beach hotel.

Sternad, who did not comment outside the courthouse Monday, is now scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 23.
 
Sternad faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. Federal prosecutors are seeking a much lighter sentence. Sternad himself is seeking probation for his cooperation with authorities.

A federal prosecutor emphasized in court that Sternad has been very cooperative, met with federal investigators on numerous occasions and is assisting with the ongoing investigation.

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