The plea agreement with Joel Greenberg has been released. Greenberg will plead guilty to six of the 33 charges against him. As part of the deal the prosecutors agree to not prosecute the remaining 27. Greenberg agrees to fully cooperate in every way with prosecutors, to include testifying against others in trial if necessary. That the prosecution gave up so much strongly suggests Greenberg has 1) a lot to offer by his cooperation with the prosecution, that 2) includes “big fish.”
Greenberg pleads guilty to the following charges:
1. Sex trafficking of a child, more on that later but this carries a ten year minimum sentence.
2. Production of false IDs. These were often used in conjunction with the sex trafficking to provide fake identification for the women. He used his official position as county tax assessor, with access to Florida driver’s license data, to do this.
3. Aggravated identity theft.
4. Wire fraud. Greenberg used his tax assessor office funds as a source of capital to buy cryptocurrencies and then profit when they increased in sales. He then told a web of lies and created false documentation to conceal his fraud from county auditors.
5. Stalking. Greenberg targeted a man running against him with social media attacks. Greenberg set up fake accounts pretending to be the man and posting white supremacist material. He also created fake accounts of alleged victims of the man where the fake accounts said the man (a teacher) raped students.
6. Conspiracies against the United States. Greenberg worked with an SBA employee, and another person identified only as “Recruiter Conspirator” to fraudulently exploit loan and grant applications for small businesses intended as Covid relief.
You can read the details of this starting on p. 28 of the linked agreement. I’ll give a summary.
Greenberg admits to paying for “commercial sex acts” using four different accounts that included a Venmo account and his American Express Account for the Tax Assessor’s office. He did this to procure sex for himself and what the agreement simply describes as “other men.”
Sometimes Greenberg falsely indicated that the payments to the women were for other purposes such as school, food and ice cream. It should be noted that media accounts claim Venmo accounts for Matt Gaetz similarly have payments to women for “school.”
One of the women was an underage minor. Greenberg had sex with her at least seven times. In addition, Greenberg admits:
- He introduced the minor to “other adult men, who engaged in commercial sex acts” with her.
- That these other men “engaged in commercial sex acts with the minor in Greenberg’s presence.” We call that an “eyewitness.”
Greenberg also admits that after his arrest he contacted the minor and asked her to lie on his behalf and “for help in making sure their stories would line up.” Accordingly, they could have charged him with witness tampering, but as part of this deal they won’t. The real significance of this is that it indicates the young woman involved is also cooperating.