MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Justin Lamar Sternad, who pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance violations, was sentenced Thursday to seven months in prison.

Sternad, a failed South Florida congressional candidate convicted of campaign finance violations in a case linked to former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, stood before U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga.

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Sternad’s seven months in prison is to be followed by one year of supervised release.

In court, Sternad said the only regret he has is that he wished he would have never heard of Rivera and his associate.

Sentencing guidelines call for 12 to 18 months behind bars. Sternad is cooperating with prosecutors, and Altonaga says she may delay his prison reporting date.

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.

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Sternad will be testifying at Alliegro’s trial.

Rivera is running for the House seat again.

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