A man, whom Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz accused of being concerned in a plot to extort his household out of $25 million, was indicted and arrested in connection to a scheme to defraud a sufferer to the tune of that quantity, the Justice Division introduced Tuesday.
Stephen Alford, 62, was taken into custody Tuesday and faces counts of wire fraud and the tried prevention of seizure of an digital gadget to acquire the cash from sufferer “D.G.,” in keeping with courtroom paperwork. The sufferer initials match these of Gaetz’s father, Don Gaetz.
Alford allegedly oversaw the scheme’s growth between March 16 and April 7 and provided somebody recognized as “Particular person A” with D.G.’s telephone quantity to debate the discharge of “R.L.” from captivity in Iran. Particular person A additionally broached the subject of a “present federal investigation” to a member of the family of D.G., in keeping with the indictment returned by a federal grand jury, and promised to assist safe a presidential pardon for the member of the family.
READ: FULL DOCUMENTS MATT GAETZ SAYS BACK UP EXTORTION CLAIM
Alford was additional chargeable for drafting a letter titled “Venture Homecoming” that raised the problem of the investigation, a presidential pardon, and the necessity for $25 million to be provided to safe R.L.’s launch, the indictment alleged.
The scheme outlined within the indictment tracks with one Matt Gaetz, who in late March confirmed experiences he was beneath federal investigation in connection to a intercourse trafficking investigation however denied committing wrongdoing, had additionally alleged on the time.
Matt Gaetz shared documentation , together with textual content message screenshots, an e-mail, and a typed doc with the Washington Examiner purporting to indicate former Air Power intelligence officer Bob Kent proposing to Don Gaetz “a plan that may make [Matt Gaetz’s] future authorized and political issues go away.”
The paperwork additionally present a connection between that plan and an effort to get former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went lacking in Iran in 2007, launched from jail. Levinson’s household mentioned in March 2020 they presume he’s useless.
Don Gaetz purportedly met with Kent on March 17, who gave him a letter titled “Venture Homecoming,” which outlined a plan to save lots of Levinson at the price of $25 million and mentioned the opportunity of Matt Gaetz receiving a pardon or the advantage of being dropped from the investigation.
The paperwork supplied by Matt Gaetz purported to indicate Alford was additionally at that March 17 assembly.
Kent later confirmed the authenticity of the documentation however denied it was an extortion plot.
“I by no means threatened the person. Matter of reality, it was the other. I informed him if he decides to not assist us, he’ll by no means hear from me once more,” Kent mentioned in an April 5 interview.
Alford made his first look in federal courtroom Tuesday and is being held by the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the Northern District of Florida introduced . He faces as much as 25 years in jail if convicted.
Matt Gaetz didn’t instantly reply to the Washington Examiner’s request for remark however took to Twitter on Tuesday to handle information of the indictment.
“These he was working with to extort me on a pile of lies ought to be subsequent,” he mentioned .