I WAS UNAWARE
I did not previously report this loan because I was unaware of the final monetary obligation incurred by my campaign, Sternad wrote to the Federal Election Commission.
I have now received invoices for the expenditures, he wrote, and this amendment represents satisfaction of those invoices.
Experts say its a federal crime to knowingly file false federal campaign-finance reports. And those who willfully and knowingly file the documents cannot necessarily escape prosecution by amending the reports after the fact.
Sternad, when it was time to file his campaign close-out report, decided to do no more harm. He filed 17 blank pages with the FEC.
And Sternad took the extraordinary steps of invoking his right against self-incrimination in an Oct. 19 letter.
On counsels advice, I invoke my rights under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States not to answer or submit the information requested on FEC Form 3, on the grounds that I may incriminate myself, Sternad wrote.
Please refer all additional inquires to my attorney, Rick L. Yabor.
Soon, Sternad began cooperating with authorities. Sources say he never came directly into contact with Rivera. That was Alliegros job. Alliegro reportedly referred to Rivera as D.R. or as The Gangster.
By the 2012 elections, Rivera had garnered a reputation as a bad-boy of Miami-Dade politics. He narrowly avoided a 52-count state indictment in an investigation of his personal and campaign finances.
The IRS, however, picked up where the state left off. It began examining Rivera in connection with a $500,000 contract from a dog-track, Magic City Casino, to run a pro-slot machine referendum in Miami-Dade County.
Rivera initially denied he was paid for his services. He later said the money, paid to his mothers company, was a loan so he was never really paid.
The cloud of investigations and Riveras reversals ultimately helped doom his reelection in the newly drawn District 26 that stretches from Kendall to Key West. He lost to Garcia by nearly 11 percentage points in a district that the president, a Democrat, carried by about 7 points in November.
Miami Herald reporter Patricia Mazzei and El Nuevo Herald Executive Editor Manny Garcia contributed to this report.