Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg talks to the Orlando Sentinel during an interview at his office in Lake Mary, Fla. Greenberg has been charged with trafficking a minor, stalking a political opponent, producing fake IDs, identity theft, embezzlement and bribery.
Joe Burbank | Orlando Sentinel | AP
A lawyer for Joel Greenberg, a key figure in the federal probe involving Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, asked a judge Tuesday to delay the former county tax collector’s sentencing date by 90 days, citing his continued cooperation with federal prosecutors.
Greenberg, who in May admitted to crimes including sex trafficking of a minor and identity theft, agreed in a plea deal to provide “substantial assistance” to federal authorities in any investigation.
That could include a federal probe, which reportedly grew out of Greenberg’s case, looking into possible sex trafficking by the Florida congressman.
The New York Times first reported in March that the Department of Justice is investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her travels with him.
Gaetz, 39, has not been charged with any crime and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
“Pursuant to his plea agreement with the Government, Mr. Greenberg has been cooperating with the Government and has participated in a series of proffers,” Greenberg’s lawyer, Fritz Scheller, wrote in a filing in U.S. District Court in Orlando.
“Said cooperation, which could impact his ultimate sentence, cannot be completed prior to the time of his sentencing,” Scheller wrote in the two-page request for a continuance, which was unopposed by federal prosecutors.
Scheller added that he expects his client will cooperate further with the authorities. Prosecutors will seek a reduced sentence for Greenberg if they agree that his cooperation qualifies as “substantial assistance.”
Greenberg’s sentencing is currently set for Aug. 19. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 12 years in prison for the identity theft and sex-trafficking convictions, Scheller wrote.
The attorney also said the 90-day delay would allow the parties in the case to resolve a few outstanding issues.
Scheller noted in the court filing that Greenberg’s sentence requires him to “make restitution to any victim of the offenses” for certain crimes committed.
“Because the restitution issue involves multiple parties and disputed amounts, the matter cannot be resolved prior to Mr. Greenberg’s current sentencing date,” Scheller wrote.
He added that the sentencing standards that apply to Greenberg in this case have “been complicated by both the diversity and nature of his charges.”
“Accordingly, Mr. Greenberg submits that a continuance of the sentencing hearing will allow the parties sufficient time to resolve the foregoing matters prior to Mr. Greenberg’s sentencing hearing,” Scheller wrote.