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Matt Gaetz associate set to strike plea deal, lawyers say

Greenberg’s possible cooperation with the Justice Department could provide investigators with key details as they attempt to determine whether Gaetz himself broke sex trafficking or prostitution laws.

Gaetz has denied ever paying for sex and, over the past week, has sought to frame the allegations against him as the result of political prejudice in the justice system and the media.

A federal prosecutor and Greenberg’s attorney told a judge the deal has not been finalized, but it is expected to be resolved within weeks.

“We believe this case will be a plea,” said US Deputy Prosecutor Roger Handberg.

Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, has requested a plea date before May 15. If a plea is not reached, they could move on to trial in July.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Scheller declined to say whether his client would be willing to cooperate with the potential plea deal and would not disclose whether Greenberg had ever met with prosecutors to describe what he knew on Gaetz.

He added, however, that his client is “in a unique situation”.

“I’m sure Matt Gaetz isn’t feeling very comfortable today,” Scheller said.

Greenberg, the former Seminole County, Florida tax commissioner and a friend of Gaetz’s, had faced decades in jail on 33 federal charges ranging from identity theft to sex trafficking of a minor . CNN reported last week that the investigation into Gaetz began in 2020 as part of the larger Greenberg investigation.

People who know the two have described them as close, with a relationship that was as much about Republican Party politics in the state as it was about after-hours socialization.

Investigators are considering Gaetz’s dealings with several associates in Florida who may have benefited politically in return for favors to the congressman, including escorts, travel and campaign donations, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Greenberg was arrested in 2020 on criminal harassment charges after he allegedly rigged documents and social media accounts to label a political rival as a pedophile and white supremacist.

Prosecutors have since secured three more indictments against the former tax commissioner – including one last week – in a way and at a pace that legal observers say could have been designed to increase the pressure on him for him to cooperate.

Matt Gaetz associate set to strike plea deal, lawyers say

Few details of the sex trafficking of a minor charge brought in Greenberg last year have been revealed to the public, but in an August indictment, prosecutors said the minor was between 14 and 17 years old. and accused Greenberg of illegally obtaining a photograph. and the person’s driver identification number.

Prosecutors also accused Greenberg of illegally accessing a motor vehicle database to obtain and use the personal information of people, including some with whom Greenberg “had a ‘Sugar Daddy’ relationship.”

CNN reported last week that witnesses presented federal investigators with information about an overnight date Gaetz and Greenberg had at the tax commission office where they were seen on internal surveillance cameras examining the cards of identity.

This story has been updated with additional details.


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