The New York Times reports that Joel Greenberg, a close ally of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), has admitted in a guilty plea to sex trafficking a minor and an assortment of other federal crimes. Greenberg also has agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigations.
Joel Greenberg, who was a tax collector in the Orlando area until he was indicted last year, did not implicate Mr. Gaetz by name in papers filed by prosecutors in Federal District Court in Orlando.
But Mr. Greenberg admitted that he and unidentified others had paid a 17-year-old girl for sex and that he had provided her with drugs. He admitted that he “introduced the minor to other adult men, who engaged in commercial sex acts” with her, according to the documents, and that he was sometimes present. The others were not named.
Prosecutors revealed in the documents that they have evidence they say corroborates Mr. Greenberg’s admissions — including a series of communications and transactions Mr. Greenberg had with the girl, and a list of dates of their sexual encounters. The inclusion of that material appeared designed to bolster the credibility of Mr. Greenberg as a witness whose truthfulness would likely be challenged by anyone who is charged based on anything he tells prosecutors.
Mr. Gaetz, a close ally of former President Donald J. Trump, is said to be under investigation into whether he violated sex trafficking laws by having sex with the same girl. Mr. Greenberg, who has been meeting with prosecutors for at least five months, has told investigators that Mr. Gaetz had sex with the girl and knew that she was being paid, according to a person briefed on the inquiry.
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