Sternad Election Fraud Sentencing Delayed For 90 Days

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – The sentencing for a former South Florida congressional candidate who admitted to election fraud has been delayed for 90 days.

A judge said she needed time to consider the government’s lighter sentencing recommendation. Prosecutors say Justin Lamar Sernad has been a substantial help in the ongoing investigation.

Last March, Sternad pleaded guilty to federal campaign violations, including accepting illegal contributions and filing false reports.

The case involves allegations that former U.S. Rep. David Rivera secretly financed Sternad’s campaign to weaken his Democratic rival, Joe Garcia. Rivera has repeatedly denied any connection to Sternad, a one-time night auditor at a Miami Beach hotel.

Sternad faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. Federal prosecutors are seeking a much lighter sentence. Sternad himself is seeking probation for his cooperation with authorities.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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