Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz sent money through Venmo to an accused sex trafficker who then sent the same amount of money to three young women using the app, The Daily Beast reports.
In May 2018, Gaetz sent $900 to his friend Joel Greenberg, an indicted former Florida tax official facing sex trafficking charges. The memo for the first transaction said “Test.” In the second one, Gaetz told Greenberg to “hit up” a woman who had just turned 18 six months earlier.
Greenberg then sent varying payments totaling $900 to three women, describing the funds as being for “Tuition” and “School.”
The transactions were identified on Gaetz’s public Venmo feed, which has since disappeared.
Daily Beast has receipts:
The Daily Beast report also identified another woman connected to the two men, who was paid with taxpayer funds using Greenberg’s government-issued credit card that audits flagged as suspicious. Greenberg is accused of more than $300,000 in suspicious expenses.
In 2018, Greenberg also paid another woman, a mutual friend of Gaetz’s, thousands of dollars using his government credit card.
Greenberg faces a total of 33 charges, including identity theft and fraud.
Greenberg may flip on Gaetz:
The New York Times reported last week that Gaetz is under investigation for sex trafficking a 17-year-old he and Greenberg both had sex with, which Gaetz has denied.
Greenberg is expected to plead guilty to charges this month and cooperate with prosecutors, the Orlando Sun-Sentinel reported.
“I am sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” Greenberg’s attorney Fritz Scheller told reporters after a hearing on Thursday.