Ex-tax collector Joel Greenberg hires new attorney ahead of federal trial

Fritz Scheller formerly represented Noor Salman

Seminole County tax collector accused of stalking political opponent indicted on federal charges

Former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg hired a new attorney to represent him in federal court this spring during his trial.

Greenberg was indicted in June on federal stalking charges, later prosecutors filled more charges, including unlawful use of means to identify another person, production of identification and false identification documents, aggravated identity theft, sex trafficking of a child and violating the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.

Greenberg is scheduled to stand trial in March 2021 but it’s possible hiring a new attorney could delay proceedings.

According to court documents, Greenberg has hired Fritz Scheller as his new defense attorney. Mark Horwitz formerly represented the former tax collector up until December.

[RELATED: Audit finds Joel Greenberg misspent millions while serving as tax collector]

Scheller was part of the team of attorneys who represented Noor Salman, the widow of the man who opened fire on the Pulse nightclub in 2016, gunning down 49 people. Salman was accused of aiding and abetting her husband in the attack but was acquitted in 2018 of all charges by a jury of her peers.

Greenberg is accused of stalking his political opponent by creating fake social media accounts and spreading a false rumor that he sexually abused a student, using information from surrendered driver’s licenses to make fake IDs with his picture on it, trying to create fake concealed weapons permits and using fake IDs for individuals he was involved in “sugar daddy relationships” with so they could “engage in commercial sex acts” despite being underage.

He has entered a plea of not guilty to all charges.

An independent audit of the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office under Greenberg’s tenure found gross misuses of taxpayer money including the purchases of a sprinkler system to remotely spray petitioners, as well as tactical gear and weapons.

Greenberg, 35, served as Seminole County tax collector from January 2017 until June 24 when he stepped down from office following his indictment.