Joel Greenberg could be in a whole lot of trouble, as the former tax collector of Seminole County in Florida is currently facing close to three dozen charges, including alleged sex trafficking involving a minor, stalking, wire fraud, conspiracy to bribe a public official, illegally using a state database to create fake IDs, and defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program. Now that trouble may extend to Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, as his former “wingman” wants to talk to the feds.
This inquiry into Greenberg’s long list of alleged wrongdoing ultimately led the Department of Justice to investigate whether or not Gaetz paid for a 17-year-old girl to travel across state lines to have sex with him, which could constitute sex trafficking of a minor. Because the sex trafficking charge against Greenberg allegedly involves the same teenager, Gaetz may be remiss to learn that the friend who reportedly “idolized” him has agreed to plea guilty ahead of a May 15 deadline for doing so.
Greenberg’s attorney Fritz Scheller said on Thursday that he expects “this case to be resolved with a plea deal,” a belief that the prosecution also shared. Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Scheller added: “I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today.”
While neither the prosecution or defense said whether or not Greenberg would cooperate with the investigation, he would likely need to do so if he hopes to reduce the probable 12-year prison sentence he is facing. The potential corroboration of details and aid in tracking down evidence could be crucial to helping to build any case against Gaetz: According to payments seen by the New York Times, the pair allegedly sent money to escorts in exchange for sex. At the same time, Greenberg could be painted as a less-than-credible witness, considering his string of alleged activity with and without his friend in Congress.
While Gaetz did not comment on the plan for Greenberg to plea out, his office did provide a statement on Thursday from women in his office detailing the respect he shows in the workplace: “At no time has any one of us experienced or witnessed anything less than the utmost professionalism and respect.” The letter did not have anyone’s name on it.