Rep Matt Gaetz is expected to be indicted within the next few weeks as former Florida official and friend Joel Greenberg is believed to have turned on the congressman in the sex trafficking investigation against him, a source close to the probe tells DailyMail.com.
Greenberg, who was elected Seminole County Tax Collector in 2016, is currently in jail awaiting trial after being slapped with a string of charges last year including sex trafficking a minor between the age of 14 and 17.
Earlier this week Gaetz was revealed to be under investigation for allegedly engaging in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old – who on Thursday was reported to be the same girl Greenberg is accused of sex trafficking, according to The New York Times.
The Florida Republican, 38, has furiously denied the allegations, instead insisting they are part of an alleged $25million extortion plot led by former Justice Department official David McGee.
But sources familiar with the matter say Gaetz’s claims are just an attempt to divert attention from his connection to the Greenberg case as the investigation closes in on him.
Rep Matt Gaetz is expected to be indicted within the next few weeks in connection to sexual activity with at least one minor, a 17-year-old girl, after the alleged victim told a Florida grand jury that she had sex with the conservative Republican before she turned 18, DailyMail.com has learned
Gaetz was reportedly first introduced to the women through Greenberg, who is currently in jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Greenberg, Gaetz and Roger Stone pictured together in 2017
‘The congressman impugned and damaged the reputation of someone who had nothing to do with this,’ the source told DailyMail.com.
‘Gaetz is a sleaze-bag who used a professional with a sterling reputation to divert the attention on a sex investigation focused on him.
‘Rest assured that Greenberg has been singing to the feds about his friend Matt Gaetz. That’s why Matt is so freaked out,’ the source added.
Gaetz’s arrest is said to be imminent after the alleged victim, who has not been named, testified before a Florida grand jury this week saying she had sex with the conservative Republican before she turned 18, DailyMail.com has learned.
The investigation into Gaetz first spiraled from a probe into Greenberg, who was indicted last summer on 14 felony charges including child sex trafficking, fraud, identity theft and stalking a former political rival.
Greenberg (pictured) was slapped with a string of charges last year including sex trafficking of a minor between the age of 14 and 17
Gaetz caught the attention of investigators in January 2020 after they learned he had accompanied Greenberg on a late night visit to Florida tax agency in 2018, The Daily Beast reported Friday.
Sources told the outlet Greenberg was caught on surveillance footage visiting a tax collection office in Lake Mary, Florida where he was allegedly making fake IDs, with another man – revealed to be Gaetz – over a weekend in April.
The following Monday, an employee arrived to find the alarm had not been activated and a number of driver’s licenses were scattered over a manager’s desk.
According to the report, the IDs – which are stored in the office after expiring – are usually kept in a disposal bin to be destroyed.
The strange findings prompted the employee to review the camera footage and report it to the office boss, who later contacted Greenberg.
Greenberg met the women through ‘sugar daddy’ websites such as SeekingArrangement, investigators believe
When asked if he had visited the office over the weekend he replied: ‘Yes I was showing congressman Gaetz what our operation looked like. Did I leave something on?’
Another text message conversation from September showed Greenberg had also asked an employee to make a duplicate ID for Gaetz rather than go through the appropriate channels.
‘Amy- is there anyway to assist one of our Congressmen in getting an emergency replacement ID or DL by Tuesday 2pm? His was lost yesterday and he’s got a flight Tuesday. Doesn’t have any other form of ID currently on him. Sorry to bother you on Sunday,’ Greenberg wrote.
When the employee asked for the person’s name and date of birth, he replied: ‘Matthew Louis Gaetz II’, born ‘May 7, 1982.’
Footage of the 2018 visit to the office has not been publicly released as officials said security videos are only stored for 60 days, per agency policy, the Daily Beast reported.
Federal prosecutors have accused Greenberg of using his position to take ‘surrendered driver licenses before they were shredded’, from the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office.
Those drivers licenses were later used to create fake IDs, they allege.
The report comes after new details about the sex trafficking probe against Gaetz emerged Thursday including claims he had paid women via Apple Pay for ecstasy-fueled sex at Florida hotels.
Gaetz was reportedly first introduced to the women through Greenberg, who investigators believe met the women through ‘sugar daddy’ websites, including SeekingArrangement, where rich men pay women in gifts, travel, fine dining and allowances in exchange for going on dates with them.
Gaetz accused David McGee, an attorney at Beggs & Lane law firm and the former lead attorney for the DOJ’s Organized Crime Task Force, of trying to extort millions from him and his family in exchange for making sex trafficking allegations ‘go away’ on Fox News Tuesday
Greenberg then introduced the women to Gaetz who allegedly also had sex with them.
Receipts from the mobile payments app Cash App and Apple Pay show both Gaetz and Greenberg sent payments to one woman and Greenberg sent a payment to a second woman, the Times reported.
Sources said the women said the payments had been for sex with Gaetz and Greenberg. Another person said the men also sometimes paid in cash.
The trysts took place in 2019 and 2020, according to the Times.
The two men were pictured together on social media with Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress, in 2017.
Gaetz denies ever having paid anyone for sex and has not been charged with any crime.