Report: Former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg is cooperating with feds in Matt Gaetz investigation


Roger Stone, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Joel Greenberg - SCREENSHOT VIA JOEL GREENBERG/TWITTER
  • Screenshot via Joel Greenberg/Twitter
  • Roger Stone, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Joel Greenberg

Former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg is cooperating with federal authorities in their probe into Florida congressman Matt Gaetz.

That's the word from the New York Times, who spoke to anonymous sources with knowledge of the investigation. The Times reports that Greenberg began to spill on his associate Gaetz once he realized the strength of the feds case against him. Greenberg is facing over 30 charges that range from embezzlement to sex trafficking. Given the seriousness of the charges, and statements from Greenberg's lawyer, it was speculated last week that Greenberg was singing in exchange for a plea deal. The Times report bolsters that narrative.

Other news stories have shown the contours of the federal investigation into Gaetz. The representative from the Florida Panhandle is potentially connected to Greenberg via a scheme to hire women on sugar daddy websites, places that connect women and wealthy men who provide gifts and money in exchange for dates. Gaetz shared money publicly on Venmo with Greenberg, who then shared an equivalent amount with three young women. While the act itself is not a crime, investigators are looking into whether Gaetz used campaign funds in the exchanges.

Crucially, they are trying to figure out a timeline for an alleged relationship with a young woman. Gaetz may have provided her with gifts and travel expenses while she was still a minor. If Gaetz enticed a minor to travel across state lines for the purposes of sex, that would meet the legal definition of sex trafficking.

Gaetz has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. He claimed that several individuals are attempting to extort his family in exchange for the funds to rescue an American hostage in Iran named Robert Levinson. The former Florida resident was captured in 2007 (though it's not clear by whom) while in Iran on mission for the CIA. He is presumed dead.

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