Friend of U.S. congressman Gaetz expected to plead guilty in Florida sex trafficking case

A friend of embattled Republican U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida is expected to plead guilty in a sex trafficking and fraud case in a federal court in Florida, two law enforcement officials said on Thursday.

Reuters | Updated: 09-04-2021 05:09 IST | Created: 09-04-2021 05:09 IST
Friend of U.S. congressman Gaetz expected to plead guilty in Florida sex trafficking case

A friend of embattled Republican U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida is expected to plead guilty in a sex trafficking and fraud case in a federal court in Florida, two law enforcement officials said on Thursday. Prosecutors and defense lawyers are in discussions about Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector in Florida's Seminole County, entering a guilty plea, and a judge on Thursday gave him until May 15 to do so, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Greenberg is a friend of staunch Donald Trump supporter Gaetz, who also faces a federal probe into a relationship with an underage girl, a law enforcement source has said. Gaetz has not been charged with any crimes and has denied wrongdoing. A Gaetz representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

At a court hearing in Orlando, Greenberg's attorneys and prosecutors said they expected a plea deal to resolve charges including sex trafficking of a child, aggravated identity theft and wire fraud, according to local media. Asked by reporters whether Gaetz should be worried about a Greenberg plea, Greenberg's attorney Fritz Scheller replied, "I'm sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today."

Scheller may have been referring to media reports that Greenberg may cooperate with federal investigators in their probe of Gaetz. "This is devastating news for Matt Gaetz," State Attorney for Palm Beach County in Florida Dave Aronberg said in an interview with CNN.

Aronberg, who is not involved in the investigation, said Greenberg had every incentive to cooperate in the Gaetz probe "because he is facing a potential life sentence and at least a 10-year mandatory minimum for child sex trafficking related to the same 17-year-old girl in the Matt Gaetz investigation." In a column published on Monday on the Washington Examiner website, Gaetz declared he had no plans to resign from Congress.

"There are exactly zero credible (or even non-credible) accusers willing to come forward by name and state on the public record that I behaved improperly toward them," Gaetz wrote. Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, last month said he would not strip Gaetz of his committee assignments absent proof that he has engaged in wrongdoing. (Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Privacy and data protection: Reviewing notable policy frameworks

The evolved privacy principles and the resulting legislation across the world primarily aim to force the data collector to define the purpose for which the data is being collected along with the need to obtain explicit consent for the said ...

Videos

Latest News

India to produce 850 mn Sputnik doses annually; becomes 60th country to approve the vaccine: RDIF

The Russian Direct Investment Fund RDIF has said that India has become the 60th country to approve the use of Sputnik V against coronavirus and more than 850 million doses of the vaccine are going to be produced in the country annually.The ...

Morning 'aarti' performed at Delhi's Jhandewalan Temple on first day of Navratri

On the first day of Chaitra Navratri, the morning aarti was performed at the Jhandewalan temple in the presence of priests and their family members. In view of rising COVID-19 cases in the national capital, the temple has been closed for th...

Minnesota sports teams postpone games after police shooting

Professional sports in Minneapolis were effectively suspended on Monday following the fatal police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man in the suburb of Brooklyn Center and subsequent outcry.Major League Baseballs MLB Minnesota Twins, Nation...

2014 IPL made people back home believe I was sub-continent specialist: Maxwell

Royal Challengers Bangalore RCB all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has said that the 2014 Indian Premier League IPL performance made people in Australia believe that he was a sub-continent specialist. Maxwell played for Kings XI Punjab now Punjab Ki...

Give Feedback