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US asks for sentence reduction for ringer House candidate in Rivera primary investigation

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MIAMI — Federal prosecutors are seeking a reduction in the prison sentence for a former U.S. House candidate who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in a case linked to Republican ex-Rep. David Rivera.

Court documents filed Wednesday say Justin Sternad has cooperated extensively in the Rivera investigation. Sternad was sentenced to seven months behind bars but is not scheduled to start his prison term until Sept. 26.

Sternad and co-defendant Ana Alliegro have pleaded guilty to their roles in a scheme to secretly finance Sternad's candidacy in the 2012 Democratic primary in an attempt to weaken eventual winner Joe Garcia. They say Rivera was part of the scheme, but he has not been charged and denies wrongdoing.

Garcia defeated Rivera and is now seeking re-election to the 26th District seat.

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