Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector and close ally of Rep. Matt Gaetz, has reportedly been cooperating with the feds since last year – including providing investigators with information about the embattled pol’s activities.
Greenberg, who is in plea talks after being charged with sex trafficking, fraud and other crimes, told investigators that he and Gaetz had encounters with women who were provided with cash or gifts in exchange for sex, two sources briefed on the matter told The New York Times.
Gaetz is reportedly under federal investigation for a host of allegations, including whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her travel across state lines.
Last week, The Times reported that investigators also are investigating if Gaetz paid prostitutes for ecstasy-fueled sex romps set up by Greenberg.
Gaetz, who has not been charged with a crime, has vehemently denied the allegations.
His associate began spilling to the feds when he realized they had overwhelming evidence against him and that his only chance for a break lay in cooperation, the people told The Times
Greenberg has met multiple times with investigators to try to establish his trustworthiness, though the raft of criminal charges he faces could undermine his credibility as a witness, the paper noted.
In addition to sex trafficking of a minor and fraud, Greenberg, who was indicted in June, faces 33 counts, including stalking a political rival and corruption.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida is leading the probe, which is examining not only whether the two men and others broke sex-trafficking laws but also whether Gaetz paid for women to travel with him to the Bahamas and other places, according to the report.
A Justice Department spokesman and a lawyer for Greenberg declined to comment to The Times.
Gaetz rep Harlan Hill told the paper that the congressman had done nothing wrong.
“Congressman Gaetz has never paid for sex,” said the spokesman, who suggested that Greenberg was “trying to ensnare innocent people in his troubles.”
Last week, Greenberg’s lawyer Fritz Scheller hinted that his client was cooperating.
“I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Scheller told reporters.