Judge won't delay sentence for ex-House candidate

MIAMI -- A judge has refused another delay in sentencing for a failed South Florida congressional candidate in a campaign finance fraud case linked to former U.S. Rep. David Rivera.

U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga denied Justin Lamar Sternad's fourth delay request. Sternad is to be sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty last year to campaign finance law violations, including accepting illegal contributions and filing false reports.

Altonaga says she may consider delaying Sternad's potential prison reporting date. Sentencing guidelines call for 12 to 18 months behind bars.

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.

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