Matt Gaetz's ally and accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg made 150 Venmo payments to dozens of women and a 17-year-old girl, report says
Joel Greenbergmade more than 150 payments to dozens of women, The Daily Beast reported.
- One of the people paid by Greenberg, accused of sex trafficking, was a 17-year-old girl.
- Greenberg is an ally of Rep.
Matt Gaetz, who is facing a Justice Department probe.
Joel Greenberg, a former elected official in Florida and ally of Rep. Matt Gaetz, made more than 150 payments via Venmo to dozens of women as well as a 17-year-old girl, according to documents reviewed by The Daily Beast.
Greenberg, who was indicted on 33 counts last year, including one related to sex trafficking, paid the 17-year-old $300 in a June 2017 payment labeled "Food," according to The Daily Beast.Gaetz, a Republican of Florida, sent a Venmo payment to Greenberg nearly a year later that was intended for the same person, according to The Daily Beast.
The outlet reported Wednesday it reviewed additional documents that showed many payments Greenberg made to women with labels that included "Ass," "Stuff," or just a lipstick kiss emoji.The new documents also showed a $300 payment Gaetz made to Greenberg in November 2018 that was simply labeled with the "love hotel emoji." The Daily Beast also confirmed Greenberg booked a single night at a hotel for the same date. The outlet also reported Greenberg paid thousands of dollars to a woman who would later date Gaetz.
When reached for comment on The Daily Beast report, a representative for Gaetz said: "This seems more like a story about Mr. Greenberg than Mr. Gaetz."
Gaetz has denied all of the allegations against him and said he has never paid for sex.The Greenberg case dates back to June 2020 when he was arraigned on federal charges, prompting him to resign from his elected position as tax collector for Florida's Seminole County. Since then, he's been charged with 33 counts, including carrying out sex trafficking of a minor between the ages of 14 and 17.
Greenberg has pleaded not guilty on all charges, but The Orlando Sentinel reported last week that Greenberg is expected to strike a plea deal and plead guilty to some of the charges by mid-May. He could face 10 years to life in prison just on the sex trafficking charge.
Prosecutors allege that Greenberg trafficked a minor with whom he was engaged in a "sugar daddy" sexual relationship and said he launched a smear campaign against a professional rival whom he falsely accused of sexual misconduct.Earlier this week, The Times reported that Greenberg has been cooperating with federal investigators since last year, reportedly giving investigators information about an "array of topics," including telling them that he and Gaetz exchanged cash and gifts for sex with women.
The Times reported that investigators are scrutinizing Gaetz and Greenberg's interactions with "multiple women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments."
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