Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz’s wingman, Joel Greenberg, has entered into a plea agreement in which he admits to having sex with a 17-year-old, says others also did, and indicates he is ready to dish.
The plea deal, which comes after prosecutors charged Greenberg with 33 counts—including sex trafficking a minor—marks a formal cooperation agreement with the government, meaning Greenberg may testify against other co-conspirators. And though he is not mentioned in the 86-page agreement, chief among those potential co-conspirators is Gaetz.
Greenberg, the former Seminole County tax collector, says he acted “in reckless disregard” when he had sex with a 17-year-old girl at least seven times. He also claims that he connected the teen to others who also engaged in commercial sex acts with her.
According to the plea, Greenberg sometimes paid a bonus to his sexual partners, including the minor, if they took ecstasy with him, and he also used taxpayer funds to facilitate sex with the girl at an Orlando-area Embassy Suites.
In the filing, Greenberg admits to six felonies, including sex trafficking, two identity theft crimes, wire fraud, stalking, and conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States—a crime stemming from COVID relief loans Greenberg fraudulently obtained last year.
According to the plea, Greenberg acted as the hub of a central Florida sex ring. Over the course of more than 150 transactions, Greenberg paid more than $70,000—including taxpayer funds—to arrange sexual encounters for him and unnamed associates. Some of those payments were made through the Venmo mobile app, the document says, and were disguised in the memo fields. The plea specifically mentions three of those memo items: “Food,” “School,” and “Ice Cream.”
“In particular, Greenberg was involved in what are sometimes referred to as ‘sugar daddy’ relationships where he paid women for sex, but attempted to disguise the payments as ‘school-related’ expenses or other living expenses,” the plea agreement said.
Gaetz is under investigation for his role in the same alleged sex ring that Greenberg acknowledged in his plea agreement, though Gaetz has adamantly denied all allegations.
In a confession letter obtained by The Daily Beast, however, Greenberg wrote that he and Gaetz both had sex with the 17-year-old in question. “On more than one occasion, this individual was involved in sexual activities with several of the other girls, the congressman from Florida’s 1st Congressional District and myself,” Greenberg wrote.
The former tax collector’s plea agreement further lays out his involvement with the teenager.
“Greenberg engaged in commercial sex acts with the Minor in the Middle District of Florida at least seven times when she was a minor,” the plea agreement said.
The plea document notes that Greenberg improperly used his access to the Florida Driver and Vehicle Information Database to look up the teen on Sept. 4, 2017. Greenberg notes in his confession letter that he looked up this individual on that day and quickly called Gaetz, who had also been having sex with the girl, according to Greenberg.
“Immediately I called the congressman and warned him to stay clear of this person and informed him she was underage,” Greenberg wrote. “He was equally shocked and disturbed by this revelation.”
The plea agreement also notes that Greenberg introduced “other men” to the minor who “engaged in commercial sex acts with the Minor in Greenberg’s presence.”
As part of Greenberg's plea agreement, he will have to register as a sex offender.
In the plea agreement, there are a number of new details previously unknown. Greenberg wired together so many Bitcoin-generating machines that the computers caught fire and were damaged. He went along with a scheme devised by an employee of the Small Business Administration to acquire a loan worth $133,000 under false pretenses—and apparently asked his co-conspirator, “How quickly can I blow it all on pussy?”
Greenberg also used his position as head of the tax collector’s office, which receives expired driver’s licenses, to make fake IDs for himself that featured other people’s information but his photo. This again could tie back to Gaetz, as the congressman paid his friend an off-hours visit at the office where Greenberg was creating them, which provoked suspicions from agency employees at the time, as The Daily Beast has previously revealed.
The day federal agents executed a search warrant on June 23, 2020, investigators found three fake IDs in Greenberg’s backpack with information belonging to people in Canada, Virginia, and Florida.
The plea agreement also mentions that witnesses saw Greenberg offer IDs he had stolen from his government agency to women he had paid for sex, which parallels information The Daily Beast revealed this week from interviews with several young women.
The Daily Beast previously reported that multiple women have come forward to say Greenberg paid them and that they felt pressured to do drugs and have sex with him. Some said that Greenberg paid them as far back as 2013.