Only in the Sunshine State. A Florida man presented authorities with a fake pardon allegedly from President Donald Trump in an effort to escape indictment on a number of fraud charges!
The man, Alexander Leszczynski, 22, of North Redington Beach, is facing charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. He was being held without bail at the Pinellas County Jail and could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.
Leszczynski is accused of using fictitious charitable entities — including one called Love & Bliss Inc. — to take part in a number of schemes. One fraud included applying for and receiving two Payroll Protection Plan loans totaling about $196,000. He also was involved in a check-kiting scheme and tried to deposit $2.7 million in worthless checks into the Love & Bliss business account, the government said.
After the launch of an investigation, the government seized $337,000 from one of Leszczynski’s accounts.
“When he discovered that the money had been frozen, he attempted to have it released by producing a fabricated pardon purportedly signed by former President Donald Trump,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
The government said Leszczynski was involved in another scheme in which he tried to deed himself more than 10 properties around the country that were valued at more than $300 million. When the real owners of the properties and their lawyers tried to correct the fraudulent deeds, Leszczynski “responded by sending harassing and threatening letters, emails, and faxes,” the news release states.
In 2021 the Daily Beast reported that Leszczynski’s Love & Bliss Inc. portrayed itself to be a Christian nonprofit that was trying to seize control of two properties that had belonged to Jeffrey Epstein, who died by suicide in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. The properties were Epstein’s since-demolished mansion in Palm Beach and a ranch in New Mexico, according to the Daily Beast report.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Largo Police Department, the Indian Shores Police Department, and the Palm Beach Police Department.