ORLANDO, Fla. – Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg pleaded responsible Monday morning to 6 legal fees together with little one intercourse trafficking.
U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide Leslie R. Hoffman scheduled a change of plea listening to for 10 a.m. Monday on the federal courthouse in downtown Orlando.
Beneath 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 might be performed that can study Greenberg’s legal historical past, childhood, hardships and successes.
He faces wherever from 12 years to life in jail primarily based on sentencing tips and minimal obligatory sentencing necessities.
Greenberg may even be required to pay practically $655,000 in restitution to his victims, together with Seminole County taxpayers.
In trade for his cooperation and responsible pleas, prosecutors agreed to drop 27 extra fees involving crimes that allegedly occurred in Greenberg’s private life and whereas he was working as an elected official.
Court docket information signed by Greenberg outline the terms of the plea agreement and supply new particulars concerning the crimes to which he’s now admitting, together with intercourse trafficking of a kid, manufacturing of a false doc, aggravated identification theft, wire fraud, stalking and conspiracy to commit an offense in opposition to the U.S.
Nearly one year ago Greenberg was arrested for allegedly writing an nameless letter and creating pretend social media accounts meant to smear his political rival, a college worker named Brian Beute, as a toddler molester.
“Let’s turn out to be 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 sources being spent on one thing that by no means needed to occur. Let’s spend the sources doing all of your job. And that’s, once more, one of many the reason 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 pretend IDs containing Greenberg’s picture.
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 line with the plea settlement, Greenberg engaged in industrial intercourse acts with the minor not less than seven occasions 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 below 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 keeping with the plea settlement.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a buddy of Greenberg, is under investigation for possible sex crimes associated to the Greenberg downside, in keeping with printed experiences.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes. His title doesn’t seem in Greenberg’s plea settlement.
Greenberg can be accused of embezzling cash from the tax collector’s workplace to run a personal cryptocurrency enterprise.
Whereas awaiting trial on different fees, prosecutors mentioned Greenberg bribed an worker of the Small Enterprise Administration to fraudulently receive federal CARES Act fund meant to assist firms damage by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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