PENSACOLA, FL – In a November 22nd press release from the Department of Justice, the 62-year-old man who was charged in late August for the attempted extortion of Matt Gaetz’s father for $25 million has since pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud in the case.
Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, Jason Coody, announced the plea deal regarding 62-year-old Stephen Alford, who’d apparently spent approximately three weeks between March and April of 2021 trying to defraud Rep. Gaetz’s father out of millions in exchange for a “Presidential Pardon” regarding an investigation into Rep. Gaetz.
“At his guilty plea, Alford admitted that, between March 16, and April 7, 2021, he engaged in a scheme to defraud the victim out of $25 million based upon Alford’s false promises and guarantees to secure a Presidential Pardon for a family member of the victim.
The scheme involved a series of meetings and text message exchanges between Alford and the victim, as well as undercover recordings arranged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During the exchanges, Alford repeatedly promised the victim that Alford had access to the current President of the United States.”
Alford, who will face sentencing on February 16th, 2022, faces up to 20 years in federal prison over a single count of wire fraud.
While the press releases from late August and also the one from earlier in November never mentioned the Gaetz family as being victims, Rep. Gaetz’s spokesman Harlan Hill confirmed back on August 31st that Alford – who was only charged with the crime at the time – was the man alluded to in months prior about attempting to extort the family.
“Five months ago today, Rep. Gaetz asserted – after baseless allegations about him – that he was the victim of an extortion attempt. One of the men involved in that attempt, Stephen Alford, was today indicted.”
A copy of the August indictment gives further context to the criminal exploits of Alford, as well as the scheme to defraud the Gaetz family overall.
“Steven M. Alford provided Person A with the cellular telephone number of D.G.in order for Person A to contact D.G.to discuss the purported release of R.L. from captivity in Iran and a purported ‘current federal investigation’ into Family Member A of D.G.
Person A sent a text message to D.G. requesting such a meeting. In the text message, it was conveyed to D.G. that Person A’s ‘partner will see to it that [Family Member A] receives a Presidential Pardon, thus alleviating all his legal issues.’”
The initials “D.G.” for the person contacted and “R.L.” relating to the person in need of rescue happen to be the same initials as Rep. Gaetz’s father Don Gaetz and FBI agent Robert Levinson – the person Don Gaetz was informed the $25 million would be spent to rescue from captivity overseas in prior reports.
While the November conviction backs up Rep. Gaetz’s previous assertions that his family was being extorted in 2021, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s out of the woods when it comes to the ongoing investigation into his alleged sex crimes and other possible criminal offenses.
Rep. Gaetz is currently under investigation for allegedly sleeping with a 17-year-old girl who was allegedly sex trafficked, as well as an active inquiry as to whether he’d obstructed justice by speaking with a witness in the investigation over the phone.
With that being noted, Rep. Gaetz has not been charged with any criminal offenses as of this writing.