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

Sternad pleaded guilty in March to federal campaign violations

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    NEWSLETTERS

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

    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.

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    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.

    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.