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Texts show Joel Greenberg arranging for him and Matt Gaetz to meet a woman who 'usually' requires '$400 per meet,' report says

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matt gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz. Getty Images
  • Joel Greenberg turned over years of transactions and thousands of photos and videos, ABC reported.

  • He also appears to have exchanged texts with a woman who said she required "$400 per meet."

  • Texts appear to show Greenberg arranging a meetup between himself, Gaetz, the woman, and her friend.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz's former right-hand man Joel Greenberg has given prosecutors years' worth of electronic cash transactions and "thousands" of pictures and videos as part of a broad sex-trafficking probe, sources told ABC News.

The outlet also reviewed Google Voice text messages that Greenberg is said to have sent in September 2018 to a woman he met online. The text messages appear to show Greenberg asking the woman whether she was of legal age and whether she would take drugs, ABC reported. He then asked whether she'd like to meet with him and Gaetz. He added, "And how much of an allowance will you be requiring :)," the report said.

The woman replied that she had a friend who introduced her to the website whom she could bring. She also said that she "usually" requires "$400 per meet," the report said.

ABC News reported that Greenberg subsequently sent the woman a photo of Gaetz taking a selfie with Pea Ridge Elementary School students in 2017. He wrote, "My friend." The woman is said to have replied, "Oooh my friend thinks he's really cute!"

Greenberg told the woman that Gaetz was "down here only for the day," the report said. He continued, "We work hard and play hard." He then asked her if she had ever tried MDMA.

ABC News said the woman asked Greenberg whether Gaetz used the same website that Greenberg had used to communicate with her, and Greenberg replied, "He knows the deal :)." He also said that he would book "a suite Downtown" for the meetup.

Read more: Rep. Matt Gaetz's legal drama is escalating. These are the 9 key people to watch.

Greenberg, a former Seminole County, Florida, tax collector, has been cooperating with prosecutors in the investigation into him and Gaetz since last year, and he struck a formal plea deal in May, pleading guilty to six felony counts of sex trafficking, wire fraud, identity theft, conspiracy, and stalking.

Sources told ABC News that Greenberg turned over years of Venmo and Cash App transactions to federal prosecutors, and that he also gave them access to personal social-media accounts.

Investigators began scrutinizing whether Gaetz violated federal sex-trafficking laws last year as part of their inquiry into Greenberg. In addition to looking into whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old in 2019, prosecutors are said to be looking into whether he paid for her to travel with him, thereby breaking federal sex-trafficking laws.

The New York Times reported that the inquiry is focusing on Gaetz's and Greenberg's interactions with "multiple women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments." The sex probe is focusing on Gaetz's conduct not only in his home state of Florida but also in other states, and investigators are said to be examining whether Gaetz used campaign money to fund travel and other expenses for women.

Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing, and he has not been charged with a crime. His spokesperson, Harlan Hill, denounced the allegations outlined in ABC News' report as false.

"After months of media coverage, not one woman has come forward to accuse Rep. Gaetz of wrongdoing," Hill told the outlet. "Not even President Biden can say that. That others might invite people unbeknownst to a U.S. Congressman to functions he may or may not attend is the everyday life of a political figure. Your story references people the congressman doesn't know, things he hasn't done and messages he neither sent nor received."

Hill went on to say that Gaetz addressed "the debunked allegations against him - and their origin in an extortion plot - during his Firebrand podcast episode last week. People should download and watch."

Earlier this year, as Greenberg was on the cusp of striking a formal plea deal, his attorney indicated that he had significant information of value to offer prosecutors about Gaetz.

"I'm sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today," Greenberg's attorney, Fritz Scheller, told reporters after a court hearing in early April.

Read more: Matt Gaetz is getting warnings he shouldn't feel 'very comfortable' from a goateed Florida lawyer who likes to quote the Dalai Lama

In July, Scheller requested a 90-day delay in Greenberg's sentencing hearing, which was originally scheduled for August 19, because his client expected to cooperate further.

"Mr. Greenberg has been cooperating with the government and has participated in a series of proffers. Said cooperation, which could impact his ultimate sentence, cannot be completed prior to the time of his sentencing," Scheller wrote in a court filing.

"The parties expect that Mr. Greenberg will participate in additional proffers, and a continuance would provide Mr. Greenberg with additional time to do so prior to his sentencing," Scheller continued.

A federal judge signed off on the request shortly after, and a new sentencing date has been set for November.

Read the original article on Business Insider