The FBI has still not spoken to her, Alliegro added, though she said they would know how to reach her.
“I’m not an idiot — they’ve always known where I am,” she said. For example, she said, she went to the U.S. embassy in Managua to renew her passport.
Her bottle-blonde hair cropped short, a cigarette in her left hand, Alliegro initially declined to be interviewed when she answered the door of her house on a corner of Real Xalteva street.
Yet later the same day, she spoke at length to a reporter by phone and accused her Granada neighbors and acquaintances of lying, beginning with Rivera’s visits.
“David has never come to see me,” Alliegro told The Herald.
To corroborate her story, Alliegro put her live-in maid, Luz Marina Ruiz, on the phone.
Ruiz contradicted Alliegro.
“Ah, Don David,” Ruiz said in Spanish. “Last year he came for the Christmas holidays, and he was here a short time ago. He’s come several times.”
Confronted with the discrepancy, Alliegro later offered to hand the phone back to Ruiz so the maid could change her story.
Costa Rican immigration records show Rivera has crossed the Nicaraguan border — about two hours from Granada — several times this year, on one occasion with Alliegro. She and Rivera entered Nicaragua at the Peñas Blancas border crossing on March 1 — 26 seconds apart.
His latest crossing took place April 23. It is unclear why Rivera traveled to Nicaragua through Costa Rica, rather than flying directly to Managua. Rivera did not respond to a request for comment.
Dale Trusty, a Miamian and part-time Granada resident, said when he first met Alliegro in a Granada café, she said she was waiting for Rivera to visit.
“I saw her with that congressman a couple of times, and she was dressed up and seemed happy and looked nice,” said Trusty, adding that Alliegro never introduced him to Rivera. “She said that’s her boyfriend.”
The rest of the time, though, Trusty said Alliegro appeared troubled. “The young lady was stressed out,” he said. “And yet she was very smart.”
Although Rivera and Alliegro are both under federal investigation, the fact that he is visiting her in Nicaragua is not legally problematic — unless he advises her to say or do things that could impede the FBI probe, according to people familiar with the case. The same would apply to her interactions with him.
There’s also nothing to prevent FBI agents from traveling to Nicaragua to question Alliegro if they wanted to do so. Typically, they would work out arrangements with that country’s authorities before meeting with her.
Paying the rent
Relatives of Alliegro’s former landlord in Granada said Rivera paid Alliegro’s $300 monthly rent when she lived for several months in a dingy room in a house on La Libertad street. Though Alliegro moved out weeks ago, Rivera still owes the landlord money, said the relatives, who asked not to be identified.
The landlord, Moisés Sánchez of Toledo, Ohio, did not respond to requests for comment, though his wife said she was familiar with Rivera’s name.
Alliegro called the landlord’s relatives “liars,” saying they tried to hike her utility bills and owed her money for renovations she paid for. She denied that Rivera paid her rent.