Former associate of ex-Rep. David Rivera pleads guilty

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A onetime close associate of former U.S. Rep. David Rivera has pleaded guilty to four charges in a long-running campaign finance investigation that also implicates Rivera.

Attorneys for Ana Alliegro announced in a surprise Tuesday that she would plead guilty rather than go to trial next week. Prosecutor Thomas Mulvihill said there was no plea agreement.

Rivera has not been charged and denies wrongdoing. Alliegro was accused of funneling about $80,000 to an unknown Democratic candidate in the 2012 primary for the House seat then held by Rivera. Prosecutors say the goal was to smear Democrat Joe Garcia, who won anyway and later defeated Rivera.

Mulvihill said Tuesday that Rivera was part of the conspiracy.

Alliegro is to be sentenced Sept. 10.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.