Report: Gaetz friend to pay county nearly $ 1.9 million | Q Check the policy


SANFORD, Fla. (AP) – A former Florida tax collector whose arrest last year sparked an investigation into United States Republican Representative Matt Gaetz agreed to pay nearly $ 1.9 million in compensation for public money that was badly spent during his tenure.

Joel Greenberg’s attorney has reached an interim, verbal agreement with Seminole County officials to pay the sum, Seminole County attorney Bryant Applegate told county commissioners on Tuesday.

Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel that a settlement had been reached regarding Greenberg’s reimbursement of the money to the county.

“Sir. Greenberg is cooperating with the federal and county governments for the payment of the restitution,” Scheller said.

Since Greenberg’s arrest in June 2020, county attorneys have sought to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars which a county audit found was questionable or fraudulent spending of public money by the former tax collector. from Seminole County and the friends and consultants he hired.

Greenberg is currently in jail awaiting a conviction in federal court next March. He faces up to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty last May to six federal crimes, including child sex trafficking, identity theft, criminal harassment, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official.

Greenberg’s plea deal with prosecutors requires continued cooperation with an ongoing sex trafficking investigation. His cooperation could play a role in an ongoing investigation of Gaetz, a Republican who represents much of the Florida Panhandle. Gaetz has been accused of paying a 17-year-old girl for sex. He denied the allegations and previously said they were part of an extortion plot.

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