Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg speaks to the Orlando Sentinel during an interview at his Lake Mary, Florida office. Greenberg has been charged with trafficking in human beings, persecuting a political opponent, producing forged ID cards, identity theft, embezzlement and bribery.
Joe Burbank | Orlando Sentinel | AP
An attorney for Joel Greenberg, a key figure in the federal investigation into Florida Republican Matt Gaetz, on Tuesday asked a judge to postpone the former tax collector’s conviction for 90 days, citing his continued collaboration with federal prosecutors.
Greenberg, who admitted crimes such as sex trafficking in minors and identity theft in May, agreed in a plea to give federal authorities “substantial assistance” in all investigations.
This could include a state investigation reportedly emerging from the Greenberg case investigating the possible sex trafficking by the Florida Congressman.
The New York Times first reported in March that the Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and was paying for her travel with him.
Gaetz, 39, has not been charged with any criminal offense and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
“According to his government informed consent, Mr. Greenberg has worked with the government and participated in a number of petitions,” wrote Greenberg’s attorney Fritz Scheller in a file in the US District Court in Orlando.
“Said cooperation, which could affect his final sentence, cannot be concluded before the time of his conviction,” wrote Scheller in the bilateral application for continuation, which was not rejected by the federal prosecutor.
Scheller added that he expected his client to continue to cooperate with the authorities. Prosecutors will call for Greenberg’s sentence to be reduced if they agree that his cooperation qualifies as “substantial aid”.
Greenberg’s sentencing is currently scheduled for August 19th. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 12 years in prison for identity theft and conviction of human trafficking, Scheller wrote.
The attorney also said the 90-day delay would allow the parties in the case to resolve some outstanding issues.
Scheller noted in the court record that Greenberg’s verdict required him to “make reparation to every victim of the crime” for certain crimes committed.
“Because the issue of reimbursement involves multiple parties and disputed amounts, the matter cannot be resolved before Mr. Greenberg’s current judgment date,” Scheller wrote.
He added that the standards of sentencing Greenberg had in the case “were complicated by the variety and nature of his indictment.”
“Accordingly, Mr. Greenberg claims that continuing the judgment hearing will allow the parties sufficient time to resolve the foregoing matters prior to Mr. Greenberg’s judgment hearing,” Scheller wrote.