Orlando, Florida – A federal judge has approved another suspended sentence for a former Florida tax collector who was a close ally of U.S. Representative Matt Goetz.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell said in a ruling Monday that a closed state report filed by prosecutors justifies postponing Joel Greenberg’s sentencing until August. Earlier, the verdict was postponed twice.
No details have been released, but Greenberg has been cooperating in investigating allegations that Gaetz, a Republican who represents much of Florida’s Panhandle, paid a 17-year-old girl for sex.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and claims the charges are part of a conspiracy to extort.
Greenberg, a former Seminol County tax collector, faces up to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to six federal crimes last year, including sexually trafficking children, identity theft, harassment, fraud and conspiracy to bribe a government official.
Presnel said the prosecutor’s office should report on July 13, but the verdict should take place in August “in the absence of convincing circumstances.” Prosecutors are submitting such status reports privately to a judge to protect witnesses and an ongoing investigation.