A Florida resident will spend slightly more than five years in federal prison for attempting to extort $25 million from Don Gaetz, the father of Florida’s 1st District Republican Representative Matt Gaetz.
Stephen Alford, a businessman from Fort Walton Beach, was indicted in August 2021 for allegedly attempting to extort millions from the Gaetz family through extortion.
The indictment, which did not identify the victim at the time, states that Alford offered to seek a presidential pardon for the victim’s family member.
Don Gaetz, a former state senator, and his son, Representative Matt Gaetz, allege that Alford and others attempted to extort millions of dollars from their family.
Matt Gaetz told the media that a Pensacola attorney named David McGee and others sought to extort $25 million from the Gaetz family.
Don Gaetz was wired when he met with federal investigators to arrange a $5.4 million down payment. Through the wire, evidence of the plot was acquired.
According to Northwest Florida Daily News, “Alford’s sentencing followed an afternoon hearing and occurred after District Court Judge Casey Rodgers ruled last week that the government had incorrectly attempted to establish sentencing guidelines for stealing $25 million, rather than attempting to steal $25 million.
“Intended loss does not fall within the bounds of reasonable interpretation for the term loss,” Rodgers wrote. “Alford’s objection to the use of intended loss to determine his offense level under (sentencing guidelines) is sustained.”
Had the prosecution’s effort to have Alford sentenced under its presumption of intended loss succeeded, he faced a minimum sentence of 11 years and a maximum sentence of 14.
Alford will receive credit for time served in addition to three years of probation upon completion of his sentence.
Since March 2006, Alford is serving his third jail term for his effort to defraud rich individuals and corporations.
“The plan to extort money from the Gaetz family, spelled out in documents filed with the U.S. District Court, involved Alford and others coming to them with a complicated scheme,” NFW continued.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
Alford and his team said they could save Matt Gaetz from going to prison for any role he might have played in crimes for which he is being investigated, including sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl. In return, multi-millionaire Don Gaetz would front $25 million that would be used to free a man held for years by agents of the government of Iran.
Don Gaetz was interviewed by the FBI in March of 2021 about his contacts with Alford and a person only identified as “Person A.”
Person A texted Don Gaetz four days before the interview and requested to meet to discuss “the current investigation and the indictment that will soon be filed against (Matt Gaetz).” CONTINUE READING…