Matt Gaetz’s alleged sex trafficker wingman Joel Greenberg has been accused of pocketing $432,700 in fraudulent COVID-19 relief loans that he applied for after being arrested for identity theft.
The disgraced former Seminole County tax collector fraudulently applied for and successfully received three separate payments under a government scheme set up to help businesses struggling during the pandemic, according to the federal indictment and first reported by The Daily Beast.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) were said to have been granted for two businesses he owned – DG3 Enterprises and Greenberg Media Group – which had actually not been in operation for four years.
Greenberg was slapped with six charges over the alleged fraudulent loans, including defrauding the government, bribing a government official, theft, and wire fraud.
In total, he is facing a slew of 33 charges including sex trafficking a minor and is said to have been cooperating with Justice Department investigators amid their probe into him and Florida congressman Gaetz. Greenberg is due to face trial in June.
Last month, it was revealed that Gaetz is under investigation for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old girl and trafficking her across state lines.
Investigators are also looking into allegations he paid women for ecstasy-fueled sex at Florida hotels after being introduced to them by Greenberg.
Gaetz has repeatedly denied having sex with a 17-year-old and said he has never paid for sex. He has not been charged with any crime.
Matt Gaetz’s apparent wingman Joel Greenberg (above) has been accused of pocketing $432,700 in fraudulent COVID-19 relief loans that he applied for after being arrested for identity theft
Greenberg allegedly first applied for an EIDL on June 24 – the same day he resigned from his role as Seminole County tax collector and just one day after he was arrested on charges of identity theft and stalking a political opponent.
In the loan application, he claimed the businesses had 12 staff members on their payroll and had suffered massive losses of $1.2 million in revenue amid the pandemic, according to prosecutors.
In fact, the two businesses that had been defunct since 2016 – several years before the pandemic started ravaging the economy and grinding businesses to halt.
He also lied on the application that he was not under criminal indictment at the time, prosecutors say.
To help him secure the loan, Greenberg also allegedly enlisted the help of an unnamed so-called ‘Recruiter Conspirator’.
The co-conspirators then allegedly bribed a newly hired Small Business Administration official to help him get around the rules and regulations in place to prevent people getting their hands on the loans fraudulently.
This unidentified staff member was allegedly paid $3,000 via CashApp to ensure the loan was processed while his co-conspirator received $16,000.
Two days after making the fraudulent application, Greenberg received a loan of $132,900 through the scheme.
He then reinstated DG3 Enterprises and Greenberg Media Group two days later, the Beast reported.
Less than one month later, Greenberg applied for two further EIDLs, both of which were also approved, granting him around $300,000 more in payments, according to the outlet.
Greenberg is pictured with Roger Stone and Gaetz after having dinner together in 2017. The disgraced former Seminole County tax collector fraudulently applied for and successfully received three separate payments under the EIDL, say prosecutors
Matt Gaetz at the House Armed Services Committee hearing in the Rayburn Building on April 20. Last month, it was revealed that Gaetz is under investigation for allegedly having sex with a 17-year-old girl and trafficking her across state lines
In total, prosecutors say Greenberg stole $432,700 from the government pot set aside for hard-hit businesses, with federal investigators demanding he repay the funds.
It is not clear where the money went.
One month after the second payments were received, Greenberg was slapped with the sex trafficking charges, before the charges related to the COVID-19 relief loans were added in March.
The former tax collector is now being held behind bars while he awaits trial on a string of 33 charges.
Gaetz also received COVID-19 relief money for his family’s business CareGivers Inc.
The company, which provides long-term care services, received $475,000 under the government’s Paycheck Protection Program loans, reported the Daily Beast.
There is no indication this was fraudulently obtained.
Meanwhile, Gaetz’s future is currently hanging in the balance after it emerged in March he was also under investigation by the DOJ for allegedly sex trafficking a minor.
Greenberg allegedly applied for the first loan on June 24 – the same day he resigned as tax collector and one day after he was arrested over identity theft and stalking. He allegedly bribed a newly hired Small Business Administration official to help him get around the rules and regulations in place to prevent fraud on the system (the application site above)
The minor is said to be the same 17-year-old girl at the center of the charges against Greenberg.
The probe into the congressman is said to have rise out of the DOJ investigation into Greenberg and the close ties between the two men.
Sources close to the DOJ probe told DailyMail.com earlier this month that Gaetz is expected to be indicted within the next few weeks after the 17-year-old testified before a Florida grand jury saying she had sex with the conservative Republican before she reached the state’s age of consent, which is 18.
Greenberg is said to have been cooperating with federal prosecutors since December and has reportedly told investigators that both he and Gaetz gave women cash and gifts in exchange for sex.
Earlier this month, Greenberg’s lawyers said he was prepared to take a plea deal.
‘I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,’ Greenberg’s attorney told reporters.
Investigators are said to be looking into payments made by Greenberg to young women and one 17-year-old girl through Venmo, and claims that Gaetz also paid women for sex via payment apps.
Gaetz also received COVID-19 relief money for his family business CareGivers Inc. The company, which provides long-term care services, received $475,000 under the government’s Paycheck Protection Program loans
A bombshell report from the New York Times earlier this month, which cited several unnamed sources close to the DOJ investigation as well as text messages and payment receipts reviewed by the outlet, said multiple women had told investigators Gaetz would tell them a time and place to meet and how much he was willing to pay them for sex.
They would then meet in hotels in Florida where the lawmaker and staunch Trump ally would sometimes take ecstasy before they had sex, the women said.
Gaetz was reportedly first introduced to the women through close ally Greenberg, who investigators believe met the women through ‘sugar daddy’ websites.
Justice Department investigators are also looking into a trip Gaetz made to the Bahamas and whether he accepted paid escorts in exchange for official actions relating to marijuana legislation, sources told CNN last week.
The trip involved ‘several’ young women, and investigators are probing whether Gaetz accepted gifts, including travel and paid escorts.
Gaetz’s wider actions in congress have also come under close scrutiny in recent weeks, with claims he showed off nude photos of women he said he had slept with to other lawmakers on the House floor and that he played a sleazy Harry Potter themed sex game scoring points for sleeping with married colleagues, virgins and in sorority houses.
Gaetz with Trump. Greenberg is said to be cooperating with federal investigators amid the probe into the congressman
Gaetz with his fiancée food analyst Ginger Luckey, 26. Gaetz has repeatedly denied having sex with a 17-year-old and said he has never paid for sex
It has also been claimed that he regularly attended gated community house parties with other Republican lawmakers where cellphones were handed over at the door and the ‘frat party boy’ Florida representative would discuss politics while popping pills.
Meanwhile, as well as the federal investigation, the House Ethics Committee has also launched an inquiry into a string of allegations including ‘sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift, in violation of House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct.’
Gaetz denies all allegations and has insisted he will not resign.
In a bizarre twist in the saga, the lawmaker has instead claimed he is the victim of an elaborate extortion plot by a former Justice Department official seeking to free an American hostage from Iran.