Florida Man Indicted for Extortion of Matt Gaetz over Sexual Impropriety Allegations
On Tuesday, Florida developer Stephen M. Alford was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly attempting to extort the family of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) out of $25 million in exchange for making as of yet unproven allegations of sexual impropriety against the congressman disappear.
In a press release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Florida’s northern district announced that a federal grand jury indicted Alford “on counts of wire fraud and the attempted prevention of seizure of an electronic device”:
The indictment alleges that, between March 16, and April 7, 2021, Alford engaged in a scheme to defraud a victim out of $25 million. As articulated in the indictment, Alford is alleged to have been involved in a scheme to obtain money based upon false promises or guarantees he made to the victim that Alford could deliver a Presidential Pardon for a family member of the victim.
Alford is currently being held in the custody of the United States Marshals Service. Alford faces up to 25 years imprisonment on the charged crimes.
Alford allegedly participated in an extortion scheme wherein Matt Gaetz’s father, Don Gaetz, was asked if he would contribute $25 million to a fund that would help locate Robert Levinson, a former F.B.I. agent that was kidnapped in Iran and is now presumed dead. If Don Gaetz cooperated, it was promised that a presidential pardon would be granted to his son, who is currently under investigation for sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl. CNN provided more details:
The indictment alleged that Alford helped orchestrate outreach from a person identified as “Person A” to a person dubbed “D.G.,” who was presented an offer of assistance in securing a presidential pardon for a family member of D.G. Alford himself eventually engaged with D.G., according to the indictment, in an in-person meeting and over texts. Alford is also alleged to have crafted a letter titled “Project Homecoming” laying out the scheme. The letter, according to the indictment, called for $25,000,000 to be transferred to the account of an unidentified law firm. According to the indictment, the letter said that Alford’s team had been “assured by the President” that the President will “strongly consider” a “Presidential pardon” or an instruction to the Justice Department that it terminate its investigations into the family member.
Gaetz has asserted that the allegations of sexual impropriety are false and stemmed from the extortion attempt against him and his family.
“What is happening is an extortion of me and my family,” Gaetz told Tucker Carlson in March, adding he received a text message “demanding a meeting wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away.”
“Five months ago today, Rep. Gaetz asserted — after baseless allegations about him — that he was the victim of an extortion attempt,” said Gaetz spokesman Harlan Hill, according to CNN. “One of the men involved in that attempt, Stephen Alford, was today indicted.”
Our original story on the strange case of the congressman, his wealthy father, and a missing former FBI agent https://t.co/b47hHkCLKy
— Devlin Barrett (@DevlinBarrett) August 31, 2021