WASHINGTON (AP) — A Florida politician who is a central figure in the federal sex trafficking investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators.
In a plea agreement filed Friday in court in Orlando, Florida, Joel Greenberg admits he paid an underage girl to have sex with him and other unidentified men.
The agreement obtained by The Associated Press and CNN says the former Seminole County tax collector admitted to recruiting women for sex acts and paying them more than $70,000 from 2016 to 2018.
The underage girl was among them and according to the plea deal, Greenberg first met her online and later invited her to at least one hotel in Florida, where he and others would have sex with her and supply her and others with ecstasy.
Greenberg is expected to plead guilty to six federal charges during a court appearance on Monday.
His cooperation as a close associate of the Florida congressman signals a significant escalation in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Gaetz and Greenberg paid underage girls or offered them gifts in exchange for sex.
The plea agreement doesn't mention Gaetz, who has denied wrongdoing and has said he will not resign from his congressional seat.