Investigators Suspect Gaetz Paid Women for Sex: Report

Sources say he bragged to House colleagues about his sexual exploits
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2021 6:45 AM CDT
Gaetz Investigation Is Looking at Payments to Women: Report
This Feb. 26, 2021 photo shows Rep. Matt Gaetz speaking at CPAC at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Fla.   (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

(Newser) – Insiders say the federal investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz is focusing on alleged payments to women in return for sex—and the New York Times says it has seen some of the receipts. Sources tell the Times that the Gaetz investigation stems from the Justice Department's investigation of his associate, former Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg. The sources say both men had sex with women Greenberg met through websites including Seeking Arrangement, a "sugar daddy" site that advertises itself as a place where "successful people" can meet companions and treat them to trips, dinners, and "allowances." The sources say Gaetz and Greenberg paid women for sex at various locations in Florida and some of the encounters involved use of the drug ecstasy.

Gaetz has not been charged, but trafficking charges could be filed if investigators have evidence the payments were in return for sex. The Times' sources say investigators are looking into whether Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old girl, and whether she was paid. The sources say a count of sex trafficking filed against Greenberg last year involved the same girl. In a statement, Gaetz's office denied the "disgusting allegations." "Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex," the statement said. Few of Gaetz's GOP colleagues in the House have expressed support. Sources tell CNN that Gaetz has a reputation for bragging about his sexual escapades to fellow lawmakers and sometimes displayed nude photos of women on his phone and talked about having sex with them. (Gaetz says the allegations are part of an extortion plot involving his father.)

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