The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation against Florida representative Matt Gaetz for his involvement with Joel Greenberg, who was federally indicted on 33 counts including sex trafficking of a 17 year old girl. According to the court, he engaged in a “sugar daddy” relationship with her, a relationship defined as a rich older man giving costly gifts as a trade for her company or, as in this case, sexual favors. Greenberg, once a tax collector for Seminole County, Florida, has come under a lot of fire for his involvement in human sex trafficking, and now Matt Gaetz is under investigation for his involvement.
Gaetz and Greenberg’s friendship is questionable to say the least. In early 2018, Gaetz paid his friend $900, which Greenberg then paid to three separate women on Venmo in different sums that added up to the same amount of money that Gaetz had paid him. At least one of these young women was still a teenager at the time, and had only 18 six months before the transaction. Greenberg said that these Venmo transactions were for school tuition for the young women.This same young woman who had only half a year earlier turned 18 now reportedly works in the pornography industry.
It seems that Greenberg is willing to strike a plea deal. Considering the transaction of $900 connection, Gaetz is going to be in hot water if he does. The two men have at least one other connection with a woman on Venmo, and a government credit card was used in these transactions. Auditors flagged a total of $300,000 worth of payments from this as “suspicious” and “unjustified”.
Connections continue even after this. Greenberg paid a mutual friend of Gaetz’s thousands of taxpayer backed dollars from a Visa card issued to him by Seminole County, of which auditors could not figure out the purpose. There are indeed at least two connections between Greenberg and Gaetz that have professional connections between each other, and it is likely that the two social spheres between these men continue to overlap more and more the farther it is investigated.
Gaetz is also currently being investigated about the accusation that he paid a minor to travel across state lines with him and also have sexual encounters with him. This, too, has proven to be a connection between to Greenberg, who had sexual relations with the same 17 year old. In fact, this investigation into Gaetz reportedly was a byproduct of the ongoing investigations into Greenberg.
This, of course, is only a fraction of the investigation and the ongoing reports shedding light on the actions of these men. Even as Greenberg is moving into the possibility of striking a deal with law enforcement to assist the investigation and save himself, Gaetz is continually denying the allegations and has not at this time been charged with a crime yet. Only time will tell what the outcome of all of this will be and how deep this human sex trafficking ring really runs.