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Joel Greenberg, partner of Matt Gaetz, pleads guilty and cooperates: NPR


A former Florida politician who is a key figure in the investigation of Representative Matt Gaetz will plead guilty to child sex trafficking and other offenses and has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators.

According to a copy of a plea agreement filed in federal court on Friday, Joel Greenberg will plead guilty to six counts: production of a false identity document, identity theft, wire fraud, criminal harassment, conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor.

Greenberg, a former Florida-elected tax collector, is scheduled to appear in court Monday in Orlando, where he is expected to formally plead guilty. Court documents indicate that he has agreed to cooperate fully with the Justice Department’s investigation and prosecution of others, and to testify in court if necessary.

The most prominent individual who could be trapped in the Greenberg investigation is his friend and fellow Republican from Florida, Republican Gaetz. The 39-year-old congressman is reportedly under investigation for possible sex trafficking of a minor.

Gaetz, who has come to prominence as a staunch supporter and staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

Greenberg was first indicted last summer on two counts, and prosecutors have added more than 30 counts since then, including child sex trafficking, fraud and conspiracy. It was during the investigation into Greenberg’s activities that prosecutors allegedly found evidence that led them to examine Gaetz as well.

In court documents accompanying the plea agreement, Greenberg admits paying women for “commercial sex acts” with him and other men, who are not identified in the documents.

Court documents indicate that between 2016 and 2018, Greenberg used his personal Venmo and American Express accounts as well as his American Express business account to make more than 150 payments for sex totaling more than $ 70,000.

He tried to hide these transactions by labeling them as “school” or “food” or “ice cream,” according to court documents.

One of the people he paid for sex was an underage, according to the documents. Greenberg had sex with the teenager at least seven times while she was underage. He also introduced her to other men, who had also paid for sex with her. Greenberg often gave him and others ecstasy, and sometimes consumed it himself.

Court documents include a list of dates Greenberg and the minor texted or called, as well as records of financial transactions. This evidence suggests prosecutors believe they can corroborate Greenberg’s statements.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agree to drop the other 27 charges Greenberg was facing and recommend a lower sentence if he fully cooperates with investigators.



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