A businessman in Florida, Stephen Alford, has been sentenced to five years in prison plus three years supervised release following attempts to extort millions of dollars from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and his father Don Gaetz after claiming that he could get a presidential pardon for the congressman.
Alford, 62, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and has been sentenced to 63 months in jail. The businessman approached Gaetz after learning that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was investigating the congressman.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied the allegations, but that didn’t stop his father from meeting with Alford where he was given a letter that outlined what the Gaetzes would need to do to achieve a pardon.
Alford told the senior Gaetz that President Joe Biden would grant the congressman a pardon if they put up $25 million to locate and rescue Robert A. Levinson, an American hostage in Iran, per the Daily Wire.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) interviewed the junior Gaetz about his interactions with Alford and subsequently wired him in order to get Alford to incriminate himself on tape. Alford would later admit to investigators that he lied to Gaetz about receiving a pardon.
Congressman Gaetz won his primary reelection on Tuesday with nearly 70% of the vote despite multiple primary challenges meaning that he will likely go back to Congress next year following the midterm elections.
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