A Fort Walton Beach front man, accused by U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz of extortion, was indicted Tuesday following the Justice Department stated he promised a presidential pardon to another person in trade for millions of pounds.
Stephen M. Alford was indicted by a federal grand jury on prices of wire fraud and the tried prevention of seizure of an digital gadget. The 62-year-previous Fort Walton Seashore resident faces up to 25 decades in jail.
Alford tried to defraud an unnamed victim of $25 million between March and April, according to the U.S. Division of Justice.
“Alford is alleged to have been associated in a scheme to acquire money based mostly on untrue guarantees or guarantees he created to the target that Alford could produce a presidential pardon for a family members member of the victim,” the division explained in a press launch.
Notably, the indictment marks the latest progress into the ongoing investigation of the Panhandle Congressman.
Gaetz, who is under investigation in the sexual intercourse trafficking of a 17-12 months-outdated, reported in March Alford available him a presidential pardon in exchange for dollars. Alford further promised to make the investigation go absent and certain Gaetz would serve no jail time.
Gaetz, alongside his father, described the proposal and cooperated with federal authorities. At one place, Gaetz explained, his father — former condition Sen. Don Gaetz — wore a wire as aspect of the FBI investigation.
The indictment does not point out Gaetz or his father by title. It does, on the other hand, refer to “Family Member A” and “D.G.”
After telling D.G. he negotiated the payment down to $15.5 million, “Alford falsely represented that he ‘will get that pardon’ for Family members Member A, and falsely promised D.G. that Alford would just take D.G. ‘by the hand to see the President of the United States,’” the indictment reads.
“Alford also falsely promised D.G. that ‘I will guarantee you that [Family Member A] will get off his problems’ and that Alford could ‘guarantee’ Family members Member A would not go to prison if D.G. assisted Alford.”
“Over the earlier various weeks my household and I have been victims of an structured legal extortion involving a former DOJ official trying to find $25 million whilst threatening to smear my name,” Gaetz tweeted.
Alford is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Provider.
In a tweet Tuesday, Gaetz identified as on the arrest of many others who participated in the alleged extortion plan.
“Alford was indicted these days,” Gaetz wrote. “Those he was functioning with to extort me on a pile of lies should really be future.”
Notably, a prepare to rescue a missing federal agent is reportedly at the heart of Alford’s extortion plan. The former FBI agent, Robert Levinson, disappeared from the Iranian island of Kish in 2007 when hoping to cultivate an informant for the CIA. Levinson, of Coral Springs, is thought to have died in Iranian custody.
Assistant U.S. Lawyers David L. Goldberg and Lazaro P. Fields will prosecute the case in the Northern District of Florida.