Rivera Avoids Fine in Campaign Finance Violations Case

Rivera Avoids Fine in Campaign Finance Violations Case

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
July 1, 2024

Former Florida Rep. David Rivera (R) has seemingly escaped a $456,000 fine in the case involving alleged campaign finance violations. The Federal Elections Commission brought a suit against Rep. Rivera in 2017, alleging that he had knowingly and willfully made contributions in the name of another regarding the 2012 primary election campaign of another candidate in Florida's 26th Congressional District. Rep. Rivera previously represented Florida's 25th Congressional District.

A federal appeals court announced today that it would toss out a ruling that would've forced Rep. Rivera to pay a $456,000 fine stemming from the 2017 case.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, composed of three judges, argued that a district judge improperly granted summary judgement to the Federal Election Commission in the case, which involved allegations that Rep. Rivera secretly funneled money in an effort to undermine Joe Garcia (D) in 2012. Rep. Rivera is accused of providing money to help Justin Sternad (D) in the Democratic primary. Ultimately, Rep. Garcia won the primary and defeated Rep. Rivera in the general election.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke, who passed away last year, did not take into account Rep. Rivera's testimony and that "issues of fact" remain in the case. Subsequently, the case has been sent back to district court for further proceedings.

Judge Cooke wrote in the 2021 summary judgement that  “Rivera initiated the scheme when he met with his associate, Ana Sol Alliegro and directed her to approach Sternad with an offer to provide financial support to his primary campaign. Alliegro did so, and Sternad accepted the offer. At Rivera’s supposed direction, Alliegro then spent the next few months acting as an intermediary, transmitting funds to Sternad, the Sternad (political) committee and the vendors providing services to that committee.”

In 2022, Rep. Rivera and Esther Nuhfer, a former political consultant of his, faced charges of conspiring against the U.S. as they allegedly failed to register as foreign agents and engaged in illegal financial transactions including money laundering.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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