ORLANDO, Fla. – Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg pleaded responsible Monday morning to 6 prison fees together with baby intercourse trafficking.
U.S. Justice of the Peace Choose Leslie R. Hoffman scheduled a change of plea listening to for 10 a.m. Monday on the federal courthouse in downtown Orlando.
Below the plea settlement, Greenberg, 37, should present “substantial help” with different authorities investigations and prosecutions.
He’ll be sentenced in about 75 days, though no official courtroom date has been set. Earlier than then, a pre-sentencing investigation shall be carried out that can study Greenberg’s prison historical past, childhood, hardships and successes.
He faces anyplace from 12 years to life in jail based mostly on sentencing tips and minimal necessary sentencing necessities.
Greenberg can even be required to pay almost $655,000 in restitution to his victims, together with Seminole County taxpayers.
In change for his cooperation and responsible pleas, prosecutors agreed to drop 27 further fees involving crimes that allegedly occurred in Greenberg’s private life and whereas he was working as an elected official.
Courtroom data signed by Greenberg outline the terms of the plea agreement and supply new particulars in regards to the crimes to which he’s now admitting, together with intercourse trafficking of a kid, manufacturing of a false doc, aggravated id theft, wire fraud, stalking and conspiracy to commit an offense towards the U.S.
Nearly one year ago Greenberg was arrested for allegedly writing an nameless letter and creating faux social media accounts meant to smear his political rival, a faculty worker named Brian Beute, as a toddler molester.
“Let’s change into forthright. Stop hiding behind politics. Stop hiding behind an elephant or a donkey, or an R or a D. That is ridiculous that all of us should be right here right now. I imply, it is a lot of assets being spent on one thing that by no means needed to occur. Let’s spend the assets doing all of your job. And that’s, once more, one of many explanation why I ran within the first place,” Beute mentioned after Monday’s listening to.
Whereas investigating that matter, federal authorities mentioned they found Greenberg had taken customers’ old driver licenses discarded at his tax workplaces to create faux IDs containing Greenberg’s photograph.
Greenberg used these fraudulent driver licenses while recruiting women for sex on “sugar daddy” websites, prosecutors mentioned, together with one who was youthful than 18 years previous.
In response to the plea settlement, Greenberg engaged in industrial intercourse acts with the minor a minimum of seven instances and would provide her with the drug ecstasy, which Greenberg would take himself.
Greenberg used confidential state driver license database to lookup the lady’s private data “as a result of he had cause to consider that the minor was beneath the age of 18”, the plea settlement acknowledged.
Greenberg acknowledged introducing that minor to “different grownup males who engaged in industrial intercourse acts with the minor,” in accordance with the plea settlement.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a good friend of Greenberg, is under investigation for possible sex crimes associated to the Greenberg downside, in accordance with printed studies.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes. His identify doesn’t seem in Greenberg’s plea settlement.
Greenberg can also be accused of embezzling cash from the tax collector’s workplace to run a non-public cryptocurrency enterprise.
Whereas awaiting trial on different fees, prosecutors mentioned Greenberg bribed an worker of the Small Enterprise Administration to fraudulently get hold of federal CARES Act fund meant to assist corporations damage by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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