Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, an ally of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) who is facing numerous charges including child sex trafficking, allegedly used his office to procure a fake ID for a minor victim, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The newspaper detailed some of the allegations against Greenberg, explaining how Gaetz fits into the picture:
The relationship between Greenberg and Gaetz, and their alleged interactions with women — and at least one girl — are now reportedly being scrutinized by federal prosecutors, who have already charged Greenberg with sex trafficking, among numerous other offenses.
The New York Times first reported last week that Gaetz, a Republican ally of former President Donald Trump, has been under investigation since last year, with federal authorities examining whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him.
The Times later reported that the probe also concerns whether Gaetz and Greenberg broke any laws by recruiting women online for sex and paying them. Investigators believe Greenberg connected Gaetz to the women, whom he met through so-called “sugar daddy” websites.
In addition, the Sentinel reported that Gaetz allegedly was seen with Greenberg in the tax collector’s office while it was closed on a weekend evening in 2018.
Gaetz and Greenberg were also recorded entering the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office while it was closed on a weekend night in April 2018, a person familiar with office operations who saw the videotape told the Orlando Sentinel last week.
The person said the footage showed Greenberg and Gaetz entering the agency’s Lake Mary office on Primera Drive and Greenberg was seen going through baskets that held driver’s licenses turned in by residents for disposal. Greenberg later confirmed that he and Gaetz had been in the office that weekend in text messages to an employee.
This visit is of particular interest, the newspaper said, “because the open container of discarded IDs, which other agencies typically store securely until they’re destroyed, figures into some of the nearly three-dozen charges Greenberg faces.”
An indictment states that Greenberg used his access as an elected official to look up information about a girl between the ages of 14 and 17 in a state database, in order “to produce a false identification document and to facilitate his efforts to engage in commercial sex acts.”
The Times reported that the same girl is the 17-year-old at the center of the trafficking investigation targeting Gaetz.
Gaetz has not been charged in the investigation and has denied any wrongdoing.
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