Ana Alliegro had just surrendered her passport to the FBI and was told by her lawyer that she was facing jail time for her alleged role in a campaign-finance conspiracy tied to former Congressman David Rivera.
Alliegro didn’t stick around.
Along with “another individual,” a federal prosecutor said Friday, Alliegro fled the United States last fall by hopping on a flight to Texas, boarding a Greyhound Bus to Mexico — where a U.S. passport isn’t needed for entry — and then flying to her Central America hideout.
“The next thing we know, she’s back in Nicaragua,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas J. Mulvihill said Friday in federal court. “Instead of coming to the FBI as she promised, she flees the country.”
United States Magistrate Judge Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes found the evidence compelling, declaring Alliegro a “flight risk” who should stay in jail until her trial or until the government no longer argues that she’ll skip town if released on bond.
“I note that the defendant left once and then left again. That’s two times,” Otazo-Reyes said, citing the “strength of evidence” in the case against Alliegro.
Alliegro’s new lawyer, John Bergendahl, suggested that his client didn’t really flee. He said she could be found on social media, didn’t change her name and was in contact with the U.S. embassy in Nicaragua.
Bergendahl portrayed Alliegro as the victim of a “media firestorm.”
“Ms. Alliegro was stalked by the press” Bergendahl said, adding that she also had to deal with a real stalker before she left town.