Ex-Seminole County tax collector awaiting federal trial arrested on bond violation

Joel Greenberg expected back in court Wednesday

ORLANDO, Fla. – Former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg was arrested Tuesday after prosecutors say he violated the conditions of his release on bail by traveling to Jupiter.

Greenberg is awaiting the start of his federal trial this spring on federal stalking charges, 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.

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A public affairs specialist with the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed via email Greenberg was arrested Tuesday night for a bond violation.

Greenberg appeared before a judge at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday on the bond violation. Prosecutors said he violated his pre-trial release by traveling to Jupiter on Sunday and being out past his curfew, which is from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

His ankle monitor pinged to notify authorities and Greenberg came in contact with Jupiter police, according to prosecutors.

His attorney Fritz Scheller said he was in the area due for family reasons. Greenberg wanted to address the court but Scheller wouldn’t let him.

“I’m not going to get into the substance of the allegations. You know, we stipulated to them. They were technical violations. It’s a difficult process, obviously, to be on curfew. It sounds like it’s relatively easy but it’s not,” Scheller said.

On Friday, both sides agreed to lessen Greenberg’s bond restrictions but it’s unclear why since those court records are sealed.

Greenberg, 35, served as Seminole County tax collector from January 2017 until June 24, 2020 when he stepped down from office following his indictment.

An audit of Greenberg’s years in office found he had misspent millions of taxpayer dollars on purchases including body armor and a sprinkler system to aim at petitioners.

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Greenberg is accused of stalking his political opponent by creating fake social media accounts and spreading a false rumor that his opponent 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.

The trial was set for March but Greenberg recently hired a new attorney, which could delay proceedings again.

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