Matt Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg will cooperate with federal investigators as part of guilty plea

Politics

FILE — In this Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, file photo, Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg talks to the Orlando Sentinel during an interview at his office in Lake Mary, Fla. Greenberg has implicated in an investigation with U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., for their involvement with multiple women who were recruited online and received cash payments for sex. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

WASHINGTON (WFLA/AP) — The former Florida tax official whose criminal case led to a sex trafficking investigation of Rep. Matt Gaetz has agreed to plead guilty to six of the charges against him and to cooperate with federal investigators, court filings show.

Joel Greenberg will appear Monday in federal court in Orlando, Florida, for a change of plea hearing, according to court documents. He had been working for weeks toward a deal with federal prosecutors who are investigating sex trafficking and public corruption allegations.

The filing also said he agrees “to cooperate fully with the United States in the investigation and prosecution of other persons, and to testify, subject to prosecution for perjury or making a false statement, fully and truthfully before any federal court proceeding or federal grand jury in connection with the charges in this case.”

If he cooperates fully, the government will seek a reduced sentence. A judge will hold a hearing on the proposed deal on Monday.

It’s uncertain what the agreement means for the investigation into Gaetz, who has not been charged with any crime and who’s repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Investigators have also been looking at whether Gaetz and his associates tried to secure government jobs for some of the women, the people said. They are also scrutinizing Gaetz’s connections to the medical marijuana sector, including whether his associates sought to influence legislation Gaetz sponsored.

The people had knowledge of the investigation but spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to publicly discuss the ongoing investigation.

Greenberg’s legal problems began last summer when he was arrested on charges of stalking a political opponent. He mailed fake letters to the school where his opponent taught, signed by a nonexistent “very concerned student” who alleged the teacher had engaged in sexual misconduct with another student, according to an indictment filed against him.

Greenberg was charged in August with sex trafficking a girl between ages 14 and 17 and using a state database to look up information about the girl and other people with whom he was engaged in “sugar daddy” relationships, according to the indictment.

Charges on allegations he embezzled $400,000 from the Seminole County tax collector’s office were added last month, according to the indictment.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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