A friend of former U.S. Rep. David Rivera who’s implicated in a federal corruption investigation made a recording of the Republican last year — and now prosecutors have the evidence, The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald have learned.
Ana Alliegro made the recording, perhaps secretly, months before the FBI raided her home and seized her computer last year. She later skipped town and was last seen in Nicaragua.
Alliegro played a key role in the ill-fated Democratic congressional campaign of Justin Lamar Sternad, who in February admitted receiving $81,486 in illegal contributions and aid from unnamed “coconspirators.”
Whether prosecutors want to or can use the recording, however, is unclear.
If Alliegro secretly recorded Rivera, there’s a good chance it was illegally made and is therefore not easily admissible, lawyers say. Also, it’s unclear whether the recording made by Alliegro is evidence of a crime.
Alliegro and Rivera discussed Sternad’s campaign on the recording, one source familiar with the recording said, but declined to discuss details.
Federal investigators played the recording last year for Sternad, who acknowledged that he had previously listened to the recording.
“This is my insurance policy against David,” Sternad recalled Alliegro saying about the recording. He also had said last year that Alliegro made the recording in Rivera’s car, which she jokingly called “the gangster mobile.”
Recently, two FBI agents also played the tape for longtime political consultant Al Lorenzo, who was talking about an unrelated matter to Rivera by cellphone when Alliegro made the recording in the car.
Except for the chance discussion with Rivera, Lorenzo is not involved in the case at all.