Joel Greenberg, Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) alleged wingman and pimp, pleaded guilty to six charges on Monday, according to The Daily Beast, including sex trafficking of a minor.
The news outlet noted that Greenberg’s guilty plea lays “the groundwork for him to testify against associates he claims to have supplied with young women.”
Although Gaetz’s name does not appear in the plea agreement that Greenberg signed with federal prosecutors, Greenberg did name him in a confession letter that was obtained by The Daily Beast.
In that handwritten note, which Florida prosecutors also obtained, Greenberg wrote that both he and Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old—though Greenberg claimed the two men did not know she was underage at the time.
The Republican congressman has denied having sex with anyone underage, even though Greenberg wrote in his note that he informed Gaetz the girl was a minor when he learned how old she was.
Greenberg, formerly the Seminole County tax collector, “was ultimately hit with 33 counts for crimes ranging from making fake IDs to using state resources to mine Bitcoin,” The Daily Beast reported.
In the plea deal filed last week, Greenberg agreed to cop to six felonies, including sex trafficking of a child, wire fraud, and stalking. The other 27 counts will be dismissed in exchange for his cooperation.
Since Gaetz was revealed to be a target of the investigation, pressure has mounted on him week by week with new, damaging allegations. Last week, The Daily Beast reported that two witnesses place Gaetz in a Florida hotel room after a 2019 GOP fundraiser, snorting cocaine with an escort who had a no-show state job through Greenberg.
A source familiar with the investigation told The Beast that Greenberg will identify that escort, Megan Zalonka, to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex.
By pleading guilty, Greenberg becomes the first publicly-known individual to strike a bargain with the government, positioning him to become a witness against co-conspirators. But sources tell The Daily Beast that investigators are also putting pressure on other associates and potential witnesses, including Gaetz’s own ex-girlfriend and Greenberg’s friends.
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