Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and Joel Greenberg appeared to move money for 'sugar daddy' arrangements on Venmo

click to enlarge Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz and Joel Greenberg appeared to move money for 'sugar daddy' arrangements on Venmo
Photo via U.S. House Office of Photography

It's not news to anyone in Central Florida that Joel Greenberg could be particularly sloppy.

The former Seminole County tax collector is facing 33 charges ranging from sex trafficking to embezzlement in service of cryptocurrency-mining  schemes. The charges are as varied as they are brazen, with allegations that Greenberg was stealing IDs from his office and set up an separate account in the office's name to funnel funds. Still, we would expect someone involved in seemingly seedy activity to set his Venmo to private.

A new report from The Daily Beast found that Florida congressman Matt Gaetz sent his associate Greenberg money publicly over Venmo. Greenberg then sent the same amount of money to three young women, with the descriptions "school" and "tuition."

Gaetz, for his part, was much more direct. He wrote "test" in one payment and "hit up [nickname of one of the young women]." There is no indication that the young women were underage in the report, though using Greenberg as a go-between clouds the matter. The former politician is facing charges of trafficking a minor, reportedly the same person at the heart of Gaetz's investigation. Sources who spoke with the New York Times confirmed  that women received payments or gifts in exchange for sex with Greenberg and Gaetz.

Gaetz has denied ever paying women for sex, via his office.

“Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex,” the statement said. “Matt Gaetz refutes all the disgusting allegations completely. Matt Gaetz has never ever been on any such websites whatsoever. Matt Gaetz cherishes the relationships in his past and looks forward to marrying the love of his life.”

The truth of that may well be tested in coming weeks. All signs point toward Greenberg cooperating with the authorities looking into Gaetz, potentially in exchange for a plea deal.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

About The Author

Scroll to read more Orlando Area News articles
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.