A Florida man was sentenced to five years in prison over a plot to extort Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz’s father in connection to the federal sex trafficking investigation into his son, Politico reports.
Stephen Alford, 62, was sentenced to 63 months in prison and three years probation after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection to a plot to extort $25 million from Gaetz’s dad.
The scheme became public last year when Gaetz went on Fox News to defend against a New York Times report that he was facing a child sex trafficking investigation.
“What is happening is an extortion of me and my family,” Gaetz said.
Alford and another man learned of the DOJ investigation into Gaetz and sent a text message to his father, a longtime Florida lawmaker, to discuss the probe.
Gaetz came under investigation during a probe into former Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg, who pleaded guilty to six federal crimes, including trafficking a 17-year-old girl.
Gaetz’s dad met with the plotters, who urged him to provide $25 million to fund efforts to locate Robert Levinson, an American hostage held in Iran.
In exchange, the men said President Joe Biden would “strongly consider” pardoning Gaetz or direct the DOJ to pause its investigation.
Gaetz’s dad, who wore a recording device, reported the contact to the FBI.
Gaetz still faces investigation:
Extortion attempt aside, Gaetz remains under federal investigation.
NBC News previously reported that Gaetz is being investigated for sex trafficking the same 17-year-old as Greenberg, violating federal laws against crossing state lines for prostitution, and obstruction of justice.
He has not been charged with any crimes and denies all accusations.