A Florida man allegedly tried to shake down Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Gaetz’s father, promising a presidential pardon in change for $25 million, in line with a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday.
Stephen Alford, a 62-year-old resident of Walton Seaside, is charged with wire fraud and the tried prevention of seizure of an digital machine. Alford allegedly instructed Don Gaetz, a rich Florida businessman and the daddy of the Republican congressman, that he might make an investigation into his son vanish and assure Matt Gaetz would serve no jail time. Gaetz is beneath federal investigation for intercourse trafficking in reference to an alleged relationship with a 17-year-old woman. He has denied wrongdoing.
In line with the indictment, Alford gave Don Gaetz’s mobile phone quantity to an affiliate, who then conveyed the message in regards to the presidential pardon to Don Gaetz, and the 2 met a number of instances. Alford instructed Don Gaetz in a letter that his workforce had “been assured” that then-President Donald Trump would “instruct the Division of Justice to terminate any and all investigations” into Matt Gaetz if Alford and his associates had been to obtain the $25 million, the Justice Division alleges. Don Gaetz stated he wore a wire to no less than one assembly with Alford.
Alford later lowered the quantity he was demanding from Don Gaetz to $15.5 million, splitting it into $1 million in money and $4.5 million to be wired into his lawyer’s account, prosecutors say. He additionally allegedly tried to destroy his iPhone 12 Professional Max whereas Justice Division brokers tried to go looking and seize it.
Alford has beforehand been convicted of defrauding the U.S. Air Power in a land-swap plot, of fraud and grand theft over $100,000, and he was arrested in 2015 in connection to a $6 million fraud and extortion scheme. He was launched on 10 years probation in 2019.
Matt Gaetz has accused one other man, Bob Kent, of trying to extort his father as effectively, although Kent was not named within the Justice Division’s indictment. Kent confirmed after which denied the $25 million shakedown try in an April interview. Alford and Kent had been planning to make use of the funds to ransom and repatriate Robert Levinson, in line with a doc that detailed their scheme, dubbed “Mission Homecoming.” Levinson is a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who disappeared in Iran greater than 10 years in the past and whom consultants consider is now deceased.
The extortion allegations got here to mild within the wake of the revelation that Gaetz was beneath federal investigation. The Florida Republican has denied any wrongdoing and alleged the 2 had been linked.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/convicted-fraudster-stephen-alford-charged-with-trying-to-bilk-rep-matt-gaetz-and-dad-for-dollar25-million?supply=articles&through=rss | Convicted Fraudster Stephen Alford Charged With Making an attempt to Bilk Rep. Matt Gaetz and Dad for $25 Million