Sentencing set for failed U.S. House candidate reportedly linked to David Rivera

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 Sentencing day has come for a failed South Florida congressional candidate convicted of campaign finance violations in a case linked to former U.S. Rep. David Rivera.

U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga set a sentencing hearing Thursday for Justin Lamar Sternad, who pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance violations, including accepting illegal contributions and filing false reports.

Sentencing guidelines call for 12 to 18 months behind bars. Sternad is cooperating with prosecutors, and Altonaga says she may delay his prison reporting date.

The case involves allegations that Rivera, a Republican, secretly financed Sternad’s campaign to weaken Democratic rival Joe Garcia. Rivera has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, although close Rivera associate Ana Alliegro is also charged in the case.

Rivera is running for the House seat again.