Court Battles

Judge grants another sentencing delay to Gaetz associate, but says it will be his last

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Federal Judge Gregory Presnell granted another motion Monday to delay the sentencing of Joel Greenberg, a former associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), as Greenberg continues to cooperate with investigators about a federal probe into Gaetz, as reported by ABC News.

The judge had said upon ruling, “I’ll grant the motion, but absent something really extraordinary, this is the deadline we have to meet,” according to ABC.

Greenberg worked formerly as a tax collector for Seminole County and had his attorneys file a motion last week requesting his hearing be delayed until March 2022. Greenberg’s hearing had already once been delayed in the past. 

Greenberg’s lawyer, Fritz Scheller, had wrote in the motion that his client could not be sentenced before he was finished cooperating with authorities. Greenberg had originally been under investigation for alleged embezzlement of public funds, including for medical marijuana and alleged sex trafficking crimes, as stated by the Orlando Sentinel.

Additionally, according to ABC News, Greenberg pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor in May, alongside other, additional, federal crimes. For these charges, Greenberg faces a minimum of 12 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors had also approached Presnell, explaining that they needed more time because of the Gaetz investigation. ABC News reports U.S. attorney Roger Handberg having told Presnell, “This is obviously not a normal situation. Mr. Greenberg is a prolific criminal.” 

Gaetz has told ABC affiliate Pensacola WEAR, “When I became aware of some of Greenberg’s misdeeds, I deeply regretted my friendship with him.” 

Tags central florida Florida Joel Greenberg Matt Gaetz Matt Gaetz child sex scandal matt gaetz investigation Pensacola

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