Judge agrees to delay sentencing of former Gaetz associate as cooperation continues

Written by on October 19, 2021

(ORLANDO, Fla.) — A federal judge in Central Florida has granted a request from attorneys representing Joel Greenberg, the former tax collector of Seminole County, to delay his sentencing after prosecutors said Greenberg was providing investigators more information about his activities in relation to an ongoing federal probe.

As part of a federal investigation into Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, Greenberg — Gaetz’s self-described one-time wingman — has been steadily providing information and handing over potential evidence that could relate to the Florida congressman and others in the sprawling probe, sources familiar with the investigation have previously told ABC News.

Judge Gregory A. Presnell granted the motion to delay Greenberg’s sentencing, but told Greenberg’s lawyers and the government that this would be the final extension.

“I’ll grant the motion, but absent something really extraordinary, this is the deadline we have to meet,” the judge said.

Greenberg pleaded guilty in May to multiple federal crimes, including sex trafficking of a minor and introducing her to other “adult men” who also had sex with her when she was underage. Greenberg agreed to provide “substantial assistance” to prosecutors as part of their ongoing investigation.

Federal prosecutors told the judge they needed more time due to the breadth of leads Greenberg has handed over and the “number of lines of investigations” investigators are pursuing.

“This is obviously not a normal situation,” U.S. attorney Roger Handberg told the judge. “Mr. Greenberg is a prolific criminal.”

“Mr. Greenberg was not alone,” Handberg added. “This is an unusual situation with a number of lines of investigation we are pursuing.”

Prosecutors told the judge that at times in the ongoing probe, the information provided by Greenberg “takes us places we aren’t anticipating.”

As part of his cooperation, Greenberg has provided investigators with years of Venmo and Cash App transactions and thousands of photos and videos, as well as access to personal social media accounts, sources said.

Gaetz has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime.

“When I became aware of some of Greenberg’s misdeeds, I deeply regretted my friendship with him,” Gaetz told Pensacola ABC affiliate WEAR earlier this month. “I do believe that it’s fair for the people of Northwest Florida to judge me based on the associations that I’ve had, and I deeply regret my association with Joel Greenberg politically, socially and otherwise.”

Greenberg faces a minimum of 12 years in prison.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Current track