Seminole County tax collector resigns after indictment on federal stalking charges

Joel Greenberg accused of spreading false information about political opponent

Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg was indicted in federal court Tuesday on charges of stalking and unlawful use of means to identify another person in an attempt to upset a fellow candidate, according to court records filed in the Middle District of Florida.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A day after being indicted on federal stalking charges stemming from a series of online incidents involving a political opponent, Joel Greenberg has resigned from his position as Seminole County tax collector.

The attorney representing the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office confirmed the news Wednesday evening.

On Tuesday, Greenberg appeared in federal court in Orlando to face accusations that he set up social media accounts claiming to be from a “very concerned teacher” at the school where political rival Brian Beute also worked as a teacher and used those accounts to post claims that Beute was involved in a sexual relationship with a student, even though Greenberg knew that was not true.

Department of Justice records show Greenberg is also accused of creating a fake Twitter account using Beute’s information to make it seem as if Beute were a segregationist and in favor of white supremacy.

Authorities said the online stalking took place from Oct. 10, 2019 to Nov. 15, 2019.

“The perpetrator weaponized the most heinous false allegation possible, knowing that simply making it public would ruin Brian’s career and life,” Beute’s attorney said. “Brian and his family are relieved and grateful that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has fought to bring the perpetrator of this nightmare to justice.”

Greenberg, 35, had served as Seminole County tax collector since January 2017. During that time, he’s made headlines for trespassing a Seminole County commissioner, sharing an anti-Muslim Facebook post and asking for a pass during a traffic stop.

Greenberg was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 17. If convicted, he faces a minimum 10 years in federal prison.

During a federal court appearance Tuesday, a judge granted Greenberg a conditional release. He must not travel outside the Middle District of Florida or possess any weapons.

His next court date is July 1.