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Here's What We Know Right Now About Matt Gaetz's Indicted Tax Collector Friend Joel Greenberg

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A former Florida tax collector and close associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is facing a 45-page federal indictment alleging wire fraud, sex trafficking, and a litany of other offenses connected to the alleged abuse of his office and other crimes. That former tax collector, Joel Greenberg, is suspected of being a possible cooperating witness against Gaetz, Politico and others have recently reported, as Gaetz faces a reported inquiry into his own sexual behavior.
A former Florida tax collector and close associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is facing a 45-page federal indictment alleging wire fraud, sex trafficking, and a litany of other offenses connected to the alleged abuse of his office and other crimes. That former tax collector, Joel Greenberg, is suspected of being a possible cooperating witness against Gaetz, Politico and others have recently reported, as Gaetz faces a reported inquiry into his own sexual behavior. Greenberg’s attorney has refused to comment publicly on whether or not his client is dishing dirt on Gaetz, and Gaetz has denied any and all wrongdoing. With the degree and extent of Greenberg’s cooperation — if any — against Gaetz officially unknown, Law&Crime dug through police reports and court records naming Greenberg to shed light on the underlying accusations against him and to more fully illustrate the extent of his legal jeopardy. Aside from his federal criminal accusations, which resulted in two separate arrests, Greenberg has also been let off the hook by local authorities in a number of instances. A woman called police to say a man later identified as Greenberg pulled her over using a badge and a flashing light for an alleged traffic violation, even though he isn’t a cop; and his own wife once called 911 on him during an argument. A third superseding indictment on file with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division currently accuses Greenberg of 33 separate criminal counts. He was initially arrested on June 23,2020 on an original indictment alleging only two counts on June 17, 2020; he was hit with additional counts — six in total — on July 15, 2020. A second superseding indictment filed August 19, 2020, brought the tally to 12 counts; the third and current indictment was handed up on March 30, 2021. The charging documents do not directly name Gaetz, but they do allege a wide-ranging scheme against Greenberg. “As set out herein, JOEL MICAH GREENBERG used his position as Seminole County Tax Collector to engage in, and facilitate, the commission of federal offenses, including sex trafficking of a child, illegally obtaining personal information from a motor vehicle record, unlawful use of a means of identification of another person, illegally producing identification and false identification documents, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, and money laundering,” the latest charging document begins. “JOEL MICAH GREENBERG also stalked a political opponent. After his arrest in this case, and while he was on conditions of release, JOEL MICAH GREENBERG conspired with an employee of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and another individual to submit false claims for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and to bribe the SBA employee.” Among the accusations is that Greenberg used the Florida Driver and Vehicle Information Database, known as DAVID, to create fake driver’s licenses using his own “photograph but the personal information of [his] victims.” Though the documents say Florida tax collectors’ offices do handle driver’s license transactions, they allege that Greenberg “obtained, disclosed, transferred, and used personal information of individuals whose personal information was in a motor vehicle record, including individuals with whom [Greenberg] was engaged in ‘sugar daddy’ relationships.” These fake IDs were used “to facilitate” Greenberg’s “efforts to engage in commercial sex acts,” including the sex trafficking of a child between 14 and 18 years old, the documents allege. The documents also say Greenberg used his access to the driver’s license system to illegally create at least one replacement driver’s license. They go on to allege that Greenberg cooked up a scheme “to embezzle and divert over $400,000 to benefit himself personally.

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