A Florida man, Stephen Alford, plead guilty regarding his involvement in attempting to extort $25 million from Congressman Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL-1) father, former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz.
The latest development is part of a sex trafficking investigation where Alford attempted to secure a presidential pardon for Matt Gaetz, as Matt Gaetz continues to face questions surrounding his friendship with former Seminole County, Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg and Matt Gaetz’s involvement into allegations that he had sex with a 17-year-old arranged by Greenberg.
The girl testified before a grand jury that she had sex with a Republican congressman. And according to official records, Greenberg made multiple Venmo payments to young women, including a 17-year-old, at the time.
Alford is facing 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. It has never been clear how Alford was going to secure a pardon from then-President Donald J. Trump.
Alford submitted official statements about the nature of the extortion plot in connection with the guilty plea.
“Alford’s fraudulent scheme was thus making materially false promises to obtain millions of dollars from DG [Don Gaetz], although Alford knew he could not ’guarantee’ a pardon for DG’s family member,” the statement said.
Matt Gaetz has continued to deny any wrongdoing regarding sexual improprieties. When the original New York Times story broke in the Spring regarding an alleged illicit relationship, Gaetz maintained it was a part of a plot to extort millions from his family.
“The allegations of sexual misconduct against me are false,” Matt Gaetz said. “They are rooted in an extortion effort against my family for $25 million … in exchange for making this case go away.”
Matt Gaetz has not been charged by the Department of Justice regarding his alleged actions, however, Greenberg did plead guilty in May to sex trafficking a minor.
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