Published: Jul 10, 2014 11:12 AM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - A judge has sentenced a failed South Florida congressional candidate to seven months in prison for campaign finance violations in a case linked to former U.S. Rep. David Rivera.
    
U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga on Thursday ordered Justin Lamar Sternad to serve one year of probation. Sternad pleaded guilty last year to campaign finance violations, including accepting illegal contributions and filing false reports.
    
Sentencing guidelines call for 12 to 18 months behind bars. Sternad is cooperating with prosecutors. He must turn himself in by Sept. 26.
    
The case involves allegations that Rivera, a Republican, secretly financed Sternad's campaign to weaken Democratic rival Joe Garcia. Rivera has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, although close Rivera associate Ana Alliegro is also charged in the case.
    
Rivera is running for the House seat again.

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