Aug 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Florida man sentenced to 5 years in prison for plot to defraud Gaetz's father

Photo of Matt Gaetz standing in front of a microphone
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks at a conference in Dallas on Aug. 6. Photo: Lev Radin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A federal judge has sentenced a Florida man to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to trying to defraud the father of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) out of $25 million.

Why it matters: Stephen Alford perpetrated an alleged scheme "to obtain money based upon false promises or guarantees he made" to Gaetz's father that he "could deliver a Presidential Pardon for a family member" after the Republican Congress member became the target of a federal sex trafficking investigation, according to the Justice Department.

The big picture: Alford pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud last November. He was sentenced Monday to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

  • Gaetz has said that the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him were false and "rooted in an extortion effort" against his family for $25 million "in exchange for making this case go away."
  • Representatives for Gaetz did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment on the sentencing.
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