In May 2018, the day after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) Sent his associate, former Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg, $ 900 via Venmo, Greenberg used the app to send to three young women in payments in the amount of $ 900, The daily beast reports.
Gaetz paid Greenberg on two transactions. The first had “Test” written in the memo field, and the second said “hit ____”, blank being the nickname of one of the recipients. (Because the young woman had only recently turned 18 at the time of the transaction, The daily beast does not name her.) In the Venmo payments he made to young women, Greenberg wrote that the money was for “tuition,” “school” and “school.”
Last week, The New York Times reported that Gaetz, 38, had been the subject of a Justice Department investigation into whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel out of the State with him. This investigation is said to stem from an investigation into Greenberg, who has been charged with sex trafficking of a minor, bribery and criminal harassment. Court documents indicate that Greenberg was “engaged in ‘sugar daddy’ relationships,” and the Times reported that investigators believed Gaetz paid for sex with several women he met through Greenberg.
Gaetz’s list of Venmo transactions had been made public before this week, The daily beast reports, and someone sent out partial Venmo recordings for Greenberg. Archives show the two men are hooked up on Venmo to the young woman The daily beast does not name, as well as a Greenberg woman paid with taxpayer funds using a government-issued credit card, The daily beast reports.
At a hearing Thursday, Greenberg’s attorney and prosecutors said it was likely Greenberg would reach a plea deal, indicating he would likely cooperate with prosecutors. After the hearing, Greenberg’s attorney told reporters: “I’m sure Matt Gaetz isn’t feeling very comfortable today.” Gaetz has confirmed the investigation is ongoing, but denies having sex with a 17-year-old girl or paying for sex. He has not been charged with any crime. Read more on The daily beast.
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