Where’s Ana Alliegro? Mystery woman might have disappeared — again.
11/21/2013 11:53 AM
11/21/2013 2:05 PM
Here today. Gone tomorrow. Maybe to Nicaragua. Maybe not.
Ana Alliegro is again shrouded in mystery.
The self-styled conservative “bad girl” at the center of a federal criminal investigation into a former Miami congressman, Alliegro appeared to have left town and claimed on her Facebook page last week that she was in Granada, Nicaragua.
But no one’s sure
It’s unclear if Alliegro, who surrendered her passport to authorities when she returned to the United States late last month, left with federal approval. Some sources indicate she departed without permission, but they can’t see how she could have entered a foreign country without her passport.
Her Facebook page makes it sound as if she’s much happier in Nicaragua.
“There are more ingrates than Mosquitos carrying Dengue in Miami than in Nicaragua,” she wrote on her page last week. “Thank God, I came back to Granada.”
Alliegro also parted ways with her lawyer, Mauricio Padilla, who declined comment but confirmed, “I’m no longer representing her.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office won’t comment about Alliegro. Prosecutors and the FBI are still investigating whether she and former Rep. David Rivera helped illegally fund a ringer Democrat who, in turn, attacked a rival of Rivera’s, Joe Garcia.
Garcia beat Rivera in the 2012 general election and bested the ringer candidate, Justin Lamar Sternad, in the August primary before that.
Sternad was subsequently convicted of breaking campaign finance laws by illegally accepting and conspiring to accept $81,486 in unlawful contributions that he failed to report properly.
Sternad is cooperating with prosecutors and said he suspected Rivera was behind the illegal money, which Alliegro helped manage.
Rivera and Alliegro have denied wrongdoing.
Sternad is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
Mail house and campaign vendors who worked for Sternad’s and Rivera’s campaigns said Rivera was involved in Sternad’s effort, which The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald first reported before the FBI began examining the case.
As the feds closed in on Alliegro, she fled town last year for Nicaragua. There, she was partly supported by and frequently visited by Rivera, associates and neighbors of Alliegro told The Herald.
Alliegro, however, was later persuaded to return to Miami and meet with federal investigators.
Sources familiar with the case said the U.S. Attorneys Office was preparing an indictment against her, but it negotiated her return to discuss her cooperation in the case.
The nature of those discussions remain unclear. So does Alliegro’s relationship with Rivera.
Her Facebook page made clear she wasn’t happy in Miami.
“I guess it took a bit for me to realize my world was full of horrible people,” she wrote. “With the exception of a hand full of friends I now call family. And thanks a million to all my new friends and the ones that stuck by me.”
She closed it with an onomatopoeia representing an excited kiss: “Muah!!!!”
Join the Discussion
Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.