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A federal judge has sentenced Florida businessman Stephen M. Alford to more than five years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to swindle the father of Representative Matt Gaetz of $25 million in 2021.

According to the New York Times, controversy has enveloped Republican Representative Gaetz since investigations began in 2020 to determine if he may have broken sex trafficking laws.

Gaetz is accused of having a sexual connection with a 17-year-old and paying for her travel expenses.

Orlando Weekly said that the investigation into Gaetz began after his former “wingman,” former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, pled guilty to six counts of sex trafficking.

Alford apparently offered the Gaetz family, in light of the inquiry, that if they paid him $25 million to assist liberate a U.S. captive in Iran, then President Joe Biden would pardon Gaetz in the continuing child sex trafficking probe, according to The Daily Beast.

In November, following the collapse of the plan, Alford pled guilty to one count of wire fraud. On Monday, he was given a 63-month jail term.

Court records obtained by The Daily Beast indicate that Alford’s sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.

The Washington Post said that Gaetz personally announced the bogus plot on Fox News on March 30, 2021, just hours after the New York Times first reported on the inquiry into Gaetz’s alleged sex offenses.

Gaetz stated on Fox that the report about the inquiry was a “leak” intended to divert attention away from Alford’s involvement in a fraud scheme that targeted him and his father, the former president of the Florida Senate.

According to court records obtained by the Washington Post, Alford and another person discovered that the Department of Justice was investigating Gaetz before the Times made the probe public.

More on this story via The Western Journal:

The elder Gaetz reportedly received a text message on March 16, 2021, requesting a discussion about the investigation into his son, Alford’s indictment outlined, according to Washington Post.

The following day, Don Gaetz met with the individual and was given a letter outlining the plan.

“If the Gaetzes helped fund efforts to locate and rescue Robert A. Levinson — the longest-held American hostage in Iran — President Biden would ‘strongly consider’ pardoning Rep. Gaetz, if necessary, or otherwise direct the Justice Department to halt its investigation of the congressman, court records state,” the Post reported. CONTINUE READING…

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