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Matt Gaetz partner to cooperate with federal investigators in guilty plea

The former Florida tax official whose criminal case led to a sex trafficking investigation of Representative Matt Gaetz has agreed to plead guilty to six of the charges against him and to cooperate with federal investigators, court documents show .

In a copy of the plea agreement submitted to Orlando federal court on Friday, Joel Greenberg said he would plead guilty to charges of identity theft, criminal harassment, wire fraud, conspiracy to bribing a public official and sex trafficking a minor – a fraction of the 33 charges prosecutors had previously slapped him on the face.

The record also stated that he agreed to “cooperate fully with the United States in the investigation and prosecution of others, and to testify, subject to prosecution for perjury or misrepresentation, fully and honestly in any proceeding. in federal court or federal grand jury. in connection with the charges in this case. “

If he cooperates fully, the government will ask for a reduced sentence. A judge will hold a hearing on the proposed deal on Monday.

It’s unclear what the deal means for the investigation into Gaetz, who has not been charged with any crime and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Federal investigators are investigating whether Gaetz and Greenberg used the internet to search for women they could pay for sex. They are also investigating whether Gaetz had sex with an underage and paid for her to travel with him, The New York Times reported.

The corruption charge involves allegations that Greenberg paid a Small Business Administration employee to approve federal loans from a Covid-19 relief program to which Greenberg was not entitled.

The wire fraud charge stems from allegations that he embezzled money from a cryptocurrency account he set up after being elected as a tax collector for Seminole County.

The criminal harassment and identity theft charges to which he agreed to plead guilty are what initially got him arrested last year. Prosecutors said he used false identities to denigrate a teacher who challenged his re-election campaign, accusing the person of “sexual misconduct with a student”.

On Thursday, after it was revealed that a plea hearing change had been scheduled in Greenberg’s case, a Gaetz spokesperson said the teachers’ allegations showed Greenberg was not to be believed.

“Joel Greenberg’s first indictment alleges that he falsely accused another man of having sex with a minor for his own gain. This man was apparently innocent. As was Congressman Gaetz,” he said. spokesman Harlan Hill said.

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