A woman under investigation for a campaign finance scheme tied to former congressman David Rivera was brought back to South Florida from Nicaragua Friday to face election violation charges, sources and authorities said.
Ana Alliegro, 44, was arrested in Nicaragua after she was previously indicted for violating the Federal Election Campaign Act in connection with a Democratic primary for Florida's 26th Congressional District, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer and FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro announced in a news release.
She faces one count of engaging in a conspiracy to make false statements to the Federal Election Commission and to violate the contribution limits of the Federal Election Campaign Act, one count of making a false statement, and two counts of making illegal campaign contributions, authorities said. It wasn't immediately known if she has an attorney.
Alliegro, wearing handcuffs, was escorted into the FBI office in North Miami Friday evening.
Alliegro is a friend of Rivera, a Republican, and was a campaign manager for former Democratic congressional candidate Justin Lamar Sternad, who ran in a 2012 primary against Rivera’s rival Joe Garcia. Garcia defeated Sternad and then Rivera in the general election.
In September 2012 Alliegro failed to appear for an interview with the FBI as authorities probed the congressional race. She fled to Nicaragua as the FBI began investigating her and Rivera for their potential roles in a scheme to secretly funnel money to Sternad’s campaign, the Miami Herald reported.
Sternad pleaded guilty in March 2013 to federal campaign violations, including accepting illegal contributions and filing false reports.
Both Alliegro and Rivera, who have denied wrongdoing, could not be reached for comment by the Herald.
Alliegro is due to make an initial federal court appearance Monday.