Former Seminole tax collector seeks another sentencing delay

Joel Greenberg cooperating with authorities ‘against multiple individuals’

ORLANDO, Fla. – Former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg is once again asking a judge to delay his sentencing on federal charges as he continues to cooperate with authorities “against multiple individuals,” according to newly filed court papers.

The judge did not immediately rule on Greenberg’s request.

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Greenberg previously pleaded guilty to six federal charges last year including child sex trafficking, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and stalking.

In exchange for prosecutors dropping more than two dozen other charges, Greenberg agreed to cooperate with the government on other investigations and prosecutions.

Greenberg faces a mandatory minimum of 12 years in prison and potentially more, depending on his level of cooperation with federal authorities.

This is the third time Greenberg has requested to delay his sentencing, which was originally scheduled for August 2021.

U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell agreed to postpone Greenberg’s sentencing to March 29 after federal prosecutors said they needed more time to obtain information from Greenberg.

“This is an unusual request (to delay sentencing) but I think this is an unusual case,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg told the judge during an October 2021 court hearing. “The evidence takes us places. And frankly, it takes us places we did not anticipate.”

During that hearing, Presnell indicated there would be no further delays beyond March.

In his latest motion to postpone sentencing, which is unopposed by federal prosecutors, Greenberg offers to provide the judge with confidential information about his cooperation during a closed court hearing.

“(The) proceeding will convey specific information to the Court concerning the Government’s investigations and Mr. Greenberg’s cooperation against multiple individuals,” wrote Greenberg’s attorney Fritz Scheller.

Court records do not identify those individuals.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, an associate of Greenberg, is under federal investigation for possible sex trafficking, according to published reports.

Gaetz is not charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing.

Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend appeared at the federal courthouse in downtown Orlando last month where she reportedly testified in front of a grand jury.

Joe Ellicott, an associate and former employee of Greenberg, entered into a plea deal with prosecutors last month after admitting to taking part in a bribery scheme. The plea agreement requires Ellicott to cooperate with the government on other investigations.

About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter Mike DeForest has been covering Central Florida news for more than two decades. Mike joined News 6 just as Florida officials began counting hanging chads in the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election. Since then, he has covered some of the biggest news events in Central Florida.