Florida man pleads guilty to promising a presidential pardon for $25M

Okaloosa County

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The United States Attorney’s Office announced Monday that Stephen M. Alford, 62, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud related to his attempt to illegally obtain $25 million.

Alford admitted that between March 16, and April 7, 2021, tried to defraud the victim with false promises and guarantees to secure a Presidential Pardon for a family member of the victim.

Sentencing is set for February 16, 2022, at 9:00 a.m., at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola. Alford faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment to be followed by a term of supervised release.

The following is from a previous article by The Associated Press:

Authorities said Alford was part of a scheme to get $25 million from a person identified in court records as “D.G.” In exchange, Alford said he could secure a pardon from then-President Donald Trump for a family member or get the Department of Justice to drop an investigation into the family member, as well as fund the release of a someone identified as “R.L.”

Matt Gaetz’s father is Don Gaetz, a former president of the Florida Senate. Others who approached Don Gaetz have said in news reports that they wanted to free Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran more than a decade ago.

According to court records, Alford has previous fraud convictions, including a 2006 judgment where he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

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