Monday, September 27, 2021

Florida man accused of trying to blackmail Rep. Gaetz’s family

Author: Jan Wolf | Reuters

WASHINGTON-On Tuesday, federal prosecutors accused a man in Florida of trying to defraud US Rep. Matt Gates’ father Don Gates of 25 million US dollars. Criminal investigation related.

In a newly opened indictment, prosecutors accused 62-year-old Stephen Alford of contacting Gaetz’s father and demanding $25 million. The congressman is currently under criminal investigation, accusing him of having sex with a minor. Prosecutors claimed that Alford falsely claimed that he could help Gates obtain a pardon from former President Donald Trump.

The indictment did not directly mention the troubled pro-Trump congressman or his father, a former health care executive who also served as the president of the Florida Senate. But this year Gaetz published documents showing a blackmail plot against him, this so-called plot was widely reported this year.

According to news reports and a law enforcement source who spoke with Reuters, federal investigators are seeking to determine whether Gates had sex with a 17-year-old girl. He has not been charged with any crimes and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Federal prosecutors stated that Alford has been detained and it is not clear whether he has hired a lawyer.

Florida man accused of trying to blackmail Rep. Gaetz's family
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