BREAKING: Judge Drops HAMMER On Man Who Tried To Extort Matt Gaetz

(Slay News) – A Florida man found guilty of trying to extort the father of GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz was sentenced to prison by District Court Judge Casey Rodgers. Stephen Alford, a 63-year-old developer, pleaded guilty in the scheme to extort $25 million from Don Gaetz.

Judge Rodgers sentenced Alford to more than five years in prison, 63 months, for his role in the ill-fated scheme. Prosecutors wanted Alford, who has a long rap sheet, to serve between 11 and 14 years behind bars

Matt said on social media around the time of the indictment: “Over the past several weeks my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name.

“We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals.

“The planted leak to the FBI tonight was intended to thwart that investigation. No part of the allegations against me are true, and the people pushing these lies are targets of the ongoing extortion investigation.”

DOJ said when they indicted Alford:

“Stephen M. Alford, 62, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, was indicted by a federal grand jury on counts of wire fraud and the attempted prevention of seizure of an electronic device, announced Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

“Alford was arrested on August 31, 2021 and made his initial appearance in federal court to face the charges.

“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.

“An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt.

“All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial,” DOJ said.

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