ORLANDO, Fla. – A former Florida local officer who faces a series of federal charges, including a sex trafficking count, is expected to plead guilty in the coming weeks, a prosecutor and a defense attorney said Thursday The sign said defendant could cooperate as an important witness against Representative Matt Getz, who is under investigation.
A plea by former elected official, Joel Greenberg, could strengthen the Department of Justice’s hand because it was Mr. Investigates Getz and others, who met Mr. Greenberg through Florida Republican politics, and possible sexual trafficking violations are being investigated.
Mr. Greenberg met the women through a website, connecting with men who are willing to go on dates in exchange for gifts and allowances, then introduced them to Mr. Getz, with whom Mr. Greenberg had sex with her, People said familiar with the matter.
The prosecutor, Roger Handberg, disclosed about Mr. Greenberg’s case that Mr. Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheler, did it during a position hearing at the federal courthouse in Orlando. Mr Greenberg was scheduled to go on trial in June, but both parties set a May 15 date on a plea. If they do not reach an agreement, the case will go to trial, they agreed.
Neither Mr. Handberg nor Mr. Schaller said whether Mr. Greenberg would agree to cooperate in the government’s open investigation. Mr. Greenberg, 36, is likely to face 12 years in prison and legal experts said that if Mr. Greenberg had any hope of committing that sentence, he would have to cooperate with the Department of Justice.
Cooperation in federal investigations typically emphasizes being fully articulated in interviews with investigators and prior to grandiose injuries in related investigations and on trial. Those who cooperate early usually get the best deals from prosecutors; No others have been involved in this case.
Mr. Greenberg did not appear in court on Thursday. He was sent to jail in March for violating the conditions of his bail.
Mr. Greenberg, who has known Mr. Getz since at least 2017, when he began serving in Congress, could provide a witness to the plaintiffs, who had a deep knowledge of Mr. Getz’s dealings with women, he told How men paid women and how. Two people bought and used drugs like ecstasy.
Donald J. of President. Mr. Getz, who has achieved a national profile in recent years as a key supporter of Trump, has denied that he paid for sex. His investigation grew out of Mr. Greenberg’s case.
Mr. Greenberg ran for tax collection in Seminole County, north-east of Orlando in 2016, portraying himself as a crusade outsider who could restore the integrity of an office that was corrupted by career politicians I went.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Rep. Matt Getz, a Republican from Florida, broke federal sex trafficking laws.
- Mr. Getz, 38, was elected to Congress in 2016 and President Donald J. Became one of Trump’s most vocal advocates. the inspection Online recruitment for sex focuses on the representative’s relationships with women and whether he has sex with a 17-year-old girl.
- Investigation A test of payment to women is included.. Investigators believe she paid for sex with several women she met through Joel Greenberg – a former Florida collector convicted last year on a federal sex trafficking charge, among others Among the crimes – people close to the investigation told the New York Times.
- While defending his old relationships with women, Mr. Getz has repeatedly called the investigation politically motivated and baseless. So far, he has not been charged and the extent of his criminal exposure is unclear. The investigation is on.
- The representative has claimed that his family is being targeted by two people, who are trying to extort it for $ 25 million in exchange for a possible “legal take away”. man refused They were trying to evacuate the Gaetzes.
- Mr. Getz told The Times that he had no plans to resign from Congress. But as the investigation continues, he may face pressure to either step down temporarily to present his position on the House Committee overseeing the Justice Department.
After Mr. Greenberg won, he began acting aggressively and outwardly in his position, punishing those who worked for him who supported his opponent in the election and used his position to enrich himself .
But in June, he was indicted on federal charges that he scolded a candidate running against him in his re-election bid. Officials said Mr. Greenberg sent an anonymous letter to the school, where the opponent acted to falsely accuse him of having sex with a student, and Mr. Greenberg set up social media accounts making similar claims. Since, Mr. Greenberg has been convicted of corruption and other charges.
In August, Mr. Greenberg was charged in 2017 at the age of 17 on one count of sexual trafficking. Around the time of the indictment, the Justice Department began an investigation into Mr. Getz’s relationship with the same girl.
In the final weeks of the Trump administration, Mr. Getz asked the White House for a blanket pardon for any criminal conduct he had committed, people familiar with his request have said. Trump’s allies vetoed that idea, and Mr. Trump has said that Mr. Getz never apologized directly to him.