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Ex-congressman ordered to pay $456k for election violations

MIAMI (AP) — A federal judge has ordered a former Florida Republican congressman to pay $456,000 for secretly funneling thousands of dollars to a little-known Democratic candidate in 2012 to try to weaken a political rival. U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke sided with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday in its civil case against ex-Rep. David Rivera. The FEC had claimed that Rivera secretly and illegally contributed nearly $76,000 to Justin Sternad in an attempt to weaken the rival Democratic campaign of Joe Garcia. Garcia eventually won the Miami-area seat. Sternad and Rivera associate Ana Alliegro previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the scheme. Rivera has never been charged with a crime and has long denied wrongdoing.

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