A former Florida tax official is expected to plead guilty in the criminal case that spawned the sex trafficking investigation of Representative Matt Gaetz, lawyers and prosecutors for the official said in court on Thursday.
Joel Greenberg, the former Seminole County tax collector, had previously pleaded not guilty to several counts, including criminal harassment, wire fraud and sex trafficking of a minor.
At a brief hearing in Orlando, Greenberg’s attorney Fritz Scheller and federal prosecutors told the judge they expected him to reach a plea deal, but the parties did not indicated whether Greenberg should cooperate with the investigation against Gaetz, R-Fla.
Both parties agreed to a May 15 deadline as the deadline for filing a plea.
Federal investigators are investigating whether Gaetz paid any women to travel to the Bahamas for sex, NBC News reported Wednesday evening. Investigators are also investigating whether Gaetz and Greenberg used the internet to search for women they could pay for sex.
Gaetz, who has not been charged with any crime, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
Legal experts said Greenberg would be a key witness in the investigation against Gaetz if the former tax official agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
Gaetz said in an op-ed on Monday that he was not a criminal and would not resign.
“Since I’m taking my turn under the gun, let me respond directly to the allegations against me. First, I never, ever paid for sex. And second, as an adult male, I have never, ever paid for sex. not slept with a 17. -old child, ”Gaetz wrote in The Washington Examiner.
He said the “bizarre” claims were made after he “decided to attack the most powerful institutions on the ring road.”