Suspect pleads guilty in $25 million scheme to defraud Matt Gaetz’s family

Florida News

Stephen Alford

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The man accused of trying to extort $25 million out of a powerful political family in Florida has pleaded guilty.

Stephen Alford, 62, went to former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz and told him he needed $25 million in order to free an Iranian prisoner.

Matt Gaetz
Congressman Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at a “Women for American First” event Friday, April 9, 2021, in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Once that happened, Alford claimed he could then arrange a presidential pardon for Gaetz’s son, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is allegedly the subject of a federal investigation into sex trafficking.

Don Gaetz called authorities, who placed an undercover FBI agent in the middle of a series of meetings between Alford and Don Gaetz in back in March and April.

Alford pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 16.

The investigation into Matt Gaetz is ongoing.

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