Report: Rep. Gaetz may face no charges in sex-trafficking probe

Career prosecutors question reliability of central witnesses

Joel Greenberg (left) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (right). (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Career prosecutors told the U.S. Justice Department they are recommending against charging Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, in a sex-trafficking investigation involving disgraced Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, according to a report in The Washington Post.

The Post said sources speaking on condition of anonymity are concerned that they won’t be able to get a conviction because of the credibility of two witnesses.

[RELATED: Joel Greenberg Timeline: From rising Republican star to federal charges]

While this does not mean Gaetz will not face any charges, The Post said it’s rare that advice from prosecutors is rejected.

Federal prosecutors began investigating Gaetz, who represents the western panhandle of Florida, in late 2020 under Attorney General William Barr.

Gaetz was being investigated for accusations he paid to have sex with a 17-year-old girl.

The Post said Greenberg, a friend of Gaetz’s, and Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend are the two witnesses whose credibility is being questioned. The ex-girlfriend testified before a grand jury in Orlando earlier this year.

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Greenberg pleaded guilty last year to sex trafficking of a minor, aggravated identity theft and wire fraud, among other federal charges. As part of a plea deal, he has been working with prosecutors on other cases in the hopes of lowering his prison sentence.

Prosecutors said Greenberg has been providing a lot of help in other cases.

Greenberg is set to be sentenced Dec. 1.

More than 18 months after former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg began cooperating with federal prosecutors as part of a plea agreement, a judge is scheduled to sentence Greenberg on six criminal charges including child sex trafficking.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.