The Federal Election Commission is suing former Florida Republican Rep. David Rivera, alleging he funneled money to a spoiler candidate in the Democratic primary during his losing 2012 race.
The FEC asserts that Rivera and Republican consultant Ana Alliegro used at least $69,000 in unreported campaign cash to prop up Democratic candidate Justin Lamar Sternad against former Rep. Joe Garcia in the Democratic primary, the Miami Herald reported.
Garcia would beat Sternad in the primary.
“Rivera’s scheme involved concealing in-kind contributions by paying vendors mostly in cash to produce and distribute materials for Sternad’s campaign,” wrote FEC attorney Sana Chaudhry in a civil complaint.
“Rivera took several measures to conceal his involvement and the source of the contributions,” it continued.
The complaint alleges that Alliegro served as the go-between Rivera and Sternad. Sternad pled guilty to accepting illegal contributions, making a false statement, and conspiracy charges in 2013.
But Rivera has avoided criminal charges and the statute of limitations on them runs out next month.
Garcia would go on to beat Rivera in the general election, but would lose his seat in 2014 to Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo and again in a rematch in 2016.
Rivera has denied any wrongdoing. The Herald reported that he could not be reached for comment on Monday and that a recording on his cellphone said he’s out of the country.
Rivera is running for a seat in the state House in 2018. He narrowly lost a bid for a seat there last year.