Woman pleads not guilty in campaign finance scheme - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Woman pleads not guilty in campaign finance scheme

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Ana Alliegro. Ana Alliegro.

MIAMI (WSVN) -- A woman under investigation for a campaign finance scheme tied to former Florida congressman David Rivera faced a judge, Monday afternoon.

After being arrested, then extradited from Nicaragua to the FBI building in North Miami, 44-year-old Ana Alliegro appeared in federal court and pleaded not guilty.

Alliegro's family saw her for the first time since her arrest. Her family did not want to speak on camera but her lawyer did. "She's been in solitary confinement since Friday, so she's not in good shape," said Alliegro's lawyer, Mauricio Padilla. "My heart goes out to her. I care for my client and I care for her family."

Alliegro is accused of a campaign finance scheme allegedly tied to former congressman David Rivera.

Authorities said Alliegro funneled more then $80,000 to Justin Lamar Sternad's campaign in 2012, a Democratic campaign she allegedly ran with intent to weaken Democratic rival and eventual winner Joe Garcia.

Those revelations were made by Sternad, who pleaded guilty to federal campaign violations last March. "On April 25th, the judge is going to make a determination as to the quality of cooperation and ads of that date," said Sternad's lawyer Rick Yabor. "When he completes his sentence it will all be behind him."

Among the charges Alliegro is facing are conspiracy, making a false statement, and two counts of making illegal campaign contributions.

Alliegro's attorney said she understands the charges and is pleading not guilty.

Alliegro remains in jail with no bond.

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