Joel Greenberg, a former county tax collector and associate of Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, pleaded guilty on Monday to six federal charges.
Greenberg’s charges include child sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl and wire fraud.
The New York Times reports: “Mr. Gaetz is under investigation into whether he violated sex trafficking laws by paying the same 17-year-old for sex. On Monday,”
The plea agreement Greenberg formally signed off on in a US District Court does not mention Gaetz or anyone else by name. Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime.
“Joel Greenberg has now confessed to falsely accusing an innocent man of having sex with a minor,” said Harlan Hill, a Gaetz spokesperson.
While Greenberg only pleaded to six of 33 charges, he’s still facing the mandatory minimum prison sentence of 12 years.
David Oscar Markus, a veteran federal defense attorney not connected to Greenberg’s case, told Politico that while it’s clear from news reports that authorities are investigating whether Gaetz is involved in sex trafficking of a minor, the plea agreement has very few details about it, which he suspects is due to a lack of clear and irrefutable evidence from Greenberg directly implicating Gaetz in the crime. Gaetz, for example, is not mentioned by name Greenberg’s plea agreement.