- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 23, 2022

A Florida man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for attempting to defraud Rep. Matt Gaetz’s father.

Stephen Alford, 62, had admitted telling Don Gaetz — a former state Senate president — that if he gave him $25 million to help liberate Robert A. Levinson, a U.S. hostage in Iran, then Alford could secure a pardon from President Biden for Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican.

The younger Mr. Gaetz faces a federal sex trafficking investigation, but no charges have been filed and the congressman denies any wrongdoing.

Alford pleaded guilty to a charge of wire fraud in December. A judge sentenced him Monday to 63 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

The scheme came to light in 2021, when Alford made the overtures to Don Gaetz after getting wind of the potential probe into Matt Gaetz.

The congressman went on Fox News to deny that he committed any sex crimes and say that his family was being victimized.

“What is happening is an extortion of me and my family,” he told the network.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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