The daily beast
Gaetz paid accused sex trafficker who then venmo’d teen
Seminole County, Getty In two nightly Venmo transactions in May 2018, Rep. Matt Gaetz sent his friend, accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg, $ 900. The next morning, within eight minutes, Greenberg sent three young women with different sums of money using the same app. In total, the transactions amounted to $ 900. The note field for the first transaction from Gaetz to Greenberg was entitled “Test”. In the second, the Florida GOP Congressman wrote “hit up ___”. But instead of a space, Gaetz wrote a nickname for one of the recipients. (The Daily Beast doesn’t share the nickname because the teenager turned 18 less than six months ago.) Then, when Greenberg made his Venmo payments to these three young women, he described the money as “tuition,” “school “. “And“ school. ”The Daily Beast investigated these records as a scandal rooted in a criminal case against Greenberg, devouring Gaetz. The strange friendship that could overthrow Matt GaetzGreenberg – the former Seminole County’s tax collector – has now become federal indicted 33 cases, including crimes against sex trafficking in a 17-year-old. Court documents indicate Greenberg was “involved in” sugar daddy “relationships.” And the New York Times says a Justice Department investigation is investigating Gaetz ‘involvement in sex for Sex ring. Gaetz and Greenberg are both connected through Venmo to this then 18-year-old woman who now works in the porn industry, according to a friend of the girl, and on Thursday the Greenberg attorney and prosecutor stated during a court hearing that they expect Greenberg to hit a plea deal, which likely means he plans to be with Investigators work together. This could potentially be disastrous for Gaetz as investigators investigate the connections between these two men. And a particularly damaging link is their financial transactions. While the story was being covered this week, Gaetz’s once-public list of Venmo transactions disappeared. Greenberg’s Venmo account is currently not open to the public. But The Daily Beast was able to obtain partial records of Greenberg’s previous online transactions through a source. Republicans have been waiting for a Matt Gaetz scandal with BreakGreenberg, and Gaetz is also linked to at least one other woman on Venmo who used taxpayers’ money to pay Greenberg a government-issued credit card. Seminole County’s auditors have classified hundreds of these payments as “challenged or disregarded”, finding a total of more than $ 300,000 in suspicious or unjustified expenses. The Daily Beast was able to get this credit card information through a public record request: “Nobody has any idea what they were doing. Zero, ”said Daniel J. O’Keefe, an accountant who was doing a forensic exam for the county. “The arrogance of these guys. They just felt above the law. I’ve never seen it so bad. “O’Keefe was particularly confused about weekend charges, hotels, unspecified“ consultancy fees ”for high dollars, and cash advances Greenberg had made to himself and others. The Daily Beast compared Greenberg’s credit card bills and Venmo transactions to Gaetz’s expenses and travel documents generated from campaign financial reports, Instagram posts, and Venmo, and found that the two schedules and contact circles overlap in a few key places. Gaetz and Greenberg share Venmo connections with at least two women who have received payments from Greenberg and who both have professional relationships with one another. In 2018, Greenberg paid another woman, Gaetz’s mutual friend, several thousand dollars using his taxpayer-backed Seminole County-issued Wells Fargo Visa card, according to the county’s financial records received from The Daily Beast. The auditors pointed out the transactions, saying they “don’t know what it was for” despite a contract and invoice from the company. Last week, the New York Times reported that the Justice Department was investigating Gaetz for allegedly paying a 17-year-old girl who travels with him across state lines and induces her to have sex – an act in violation of federal child trafficking laws . The investigation reportedly dates back to last summer when it emerged from the ongoing Greenberg probe. According to the Times, the two men reportedly had sex with and traded with the same 17-year-old girl. The three-time Republican has acknowledged the existence of the investigation but denies the allegations. In a March 31 text message he told The Daily Beast, “The last time I had sexual relations with a seventeen-year-old, I was seventeen.” And in a statement from the conservative Washington Examiner last weekend, Gaetz claimed he had “never paid women for sex”. Matt Gaetz said his “travelogues” would exonerate him. Not so fast. Gaetz was not charged with a crime, and Gaetz’s convention bureau declined to comment directly on the story. Instead, a representative of an outside PR firm, the Logan Circle Group, responded with the following statement from Gaetz: “The rumors, gossip, and self-serving misrepresentations of others will be dealt with by my legal team in due course.” Logan Circle’s Erin Elmore – a pro-Trump expert and former The Apprentice nominee – added that a lawyer would “closely monitor your reporting.” The email also featured another Logan Circle Group employee: Harlan Hill, who was banned from Fox News after calling Vice President Kamala Harris “an unbearable lying bitch.” Greenberg’s defense attorney Fritz Scheller also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But during a press conference following a hearing on the case, Scheller offered that the Florida congressman was unlikely to welcome the news that Greenberg was making a plea deal: “I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very well today,” said Scheller. – Updated with a comment from Gaetz. Read more at The Daily Beast. Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.