Bad News for Gaetz: Plea Deal Is Coming

Former Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg could spill incriminating details
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2021 2:05 PM CDT
Plea Deal May Be Bad News for Matt Gaetz
Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg.   (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

This is not the legal development Matt Gaetz had been hoping for in Florida: His associate Joel Greenberg is expected to plead guilty on Monday in federal court, reports the Orlando Sentinel. While no details have surfaced about the deal, it raises the prospect that Greenberg will testify against Gaetz, the firebrand Republican congressman who is a staunch supporter of Donald Trump. Gaetz has not been charged with anything yet, but CNN reports that prosecutors are investigating whether he violated sex-trafficking, prostitution, and public corruption laws. The most damning accusation against both men involves the sex-trafficking of a 17-year-old girl, per the Washington Post. Greenberg, the former Seminole County tax collector before his resignation, faces a slew of other charges and has been cooperating to reduce his sentence.

“I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable,” Greenberg attorney Fritz Scheller said last month when news first emerged of a possible plea deal. Among other things, Greenberg has been accused of procuring women for Gaetz and himself, and later giving them money or gifts. Both men are alleged to have had sex with the 17-year-old, though Gaetz denies it. The charges against Greenberg go far beyond the Gaetz allegations. He is accused of stealing from his own office, smearing a political rival with fake evidence about sexual abuse, pulling over a woman for speeding while wearing a badge, and more. (Gaetz maintains that the allegations against him are politically motivated.)

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