An indicted associate of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is cooperating with Justice Department investigators, The New York Times reports.
Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector indicted on nearly two dozen federal charges including sex trafficking, has provided investigators with information since last year, according to the report.
Greenberg reportedly told investigators that he and Gaetz had “encounters with women who were given cash or gifts in exchange for sex.”
Greenberg is said to have met the women through websites where men exchange cash and gifts for dates and introduced them to Gaetz.
Greenberg began cooperating when he realized the investigators had “overwhelming evidence against him,” the Times reported.
Greenberg faces other charges including stalking, corruption and fraud.
Gaetz is said to be under investigation for sex trafficking a minor though he has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.
Investigators seize phone:
The FBI seized Gaetz’s iPhone last year after obtaining a search warrant, according to Politico. Investigators also seized the phone of Gaetz’s former girlfriend.
Gaetz changed his phone number in December.
The outlet reported that Gaetz flew to the Bahamas with other passengers including at least five young women in 2018, though one of the women denied to Politico that anyone on the trip was underage.
Gaetz, who was then a top adviser to Ron DeSantis during his run for governor, was joined on the trip by then-Florida lawmaker Halsey Beshers and DeSantis fundraiser Jason Pirozzolo as well as a woman who had turned 18 several months before the trip.
A source denied that anyone on the trip was involved in prostitution.
Trip part of DOJ probe:
The DOJ probe has reportedly focused in part on Gaetz’s trip to the Bahamas.
Politico reported that three of the women on the trip “looked so young when they returned on Beshears’ private plane that U.S. Customs briefly stopped and questioned him.”
Beshears resigned as Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary and told friends he believes he is the subject of the investigation, according to the report.