Gates’ friend was a controversial lightning rod in Florida


Orlando, Florida (AP) — A teacher at a preparatory school in central Florida falsely claims he is racist and has a sexual relationship with a high school student and launches a politically motivated systematic smear campaign. It started with a premonition about that.

Investigators say the fingerprints on the envelopes used in the slander campaign against Brian Butte led them to local tax collector Joel Greenberg. The investigation then led to Greenberg’s friend Matt Gaetz, a US MP. He is currently investigating whether lawmakers and tax collectors paid women, offered gifts in exchange for sex, and one of them was a minor.

Gates denies that claim and insists that he will not resign from parliamentary seats. Greenberg acquitted 33 charges, but said his lawyers and prosecutors were working on plea bargaining last week. “He is in a unique position,” said Greenberg’s lawyer Fritz Scheller.

The friendship between Congressmen and tax collectors shocks critics with timeless support for former President Donald Trump, self-portraits outside the White House, interest in cryptocurrencies, and their exorbitant behavior. Built on the talent you give. Both were descendants of a wealthy Florida family.

Even before he was arrested, 36-year-old Greenberg was a controversial lightning rod.

Due to his lack of political experience, Greenberg was elected a tax collector in Seminole County in 2016 and promised to breathe fresh air into incumbents who had been in office for nearly 30 years.

A few months after taking office in 2017, he began allowing employees to carry guns openly, but then Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office was later informal and binding. In no opinion, a law enforcement officer said he shouldn’t carry a gun openly because he doesn’t have one.

In late 2017, Greenberg, wearing cargo shorts and ballistic-style law enforcement vests, pulled the driver for speeding while wearing a tax collector badge that resembled a police shield. A local prosecutor refused to accuse him of impersonating a police officer. Shortly thereafter, Greenberg was pulled for speeding and was asked not to issue tickets by “professional etiquette.” The policeman refused.

In 2018, Greenberg was widely criticized for tweeting anti-Islamic tweets.

According to an audit released last year, Greenberg spent more than $ 1 million on suspicious contracts and more than $ 380,000 on buying bulletproof vests, weapons, ammunition and drones. According to audits, Greenberg claimed that the sprinkler system was old and needed to be replaced, but Greenberg was $ 15,000 to install a remotely controllable sprinkler outside the branch to target people gathered outside. Paid.

In 2019, Greenberg set up a company that allows taxpayers to pay invoices in cryptocurrencies at a cost of $ 65,000. Payments have never been processed through the company. According to audits, approximately $ 90,000 of public funds were used to install server equipment in Greenberg’s private office room, where only tax collectors and vendors had access to the keypad.

According to an audit, the equipment was moved to a branch office that caused a power surge last year, causing a fire and costing $ 6,700, but was not covered by insurance.

Greenberg’s legal affairs began last summer when Bute was arrested for stalking, saying he had publicly criticized Greenberg’s actions and planned to oppose tax collectors. According to a June complaint, Greenberg sent a fake letter to Bute’s school signed by a non-existent “very worried student” who claimed to have committed sexual misconduct with other students. I mailed it.

Former tax collectors also used their names and photos to create fake Twitter accounts that posted statements in support of white supremacy, and repeatedly sexually accused “very worried teachers.” I created a fake Facebook account disguised as. According to the indictment, illegal acts with students.

Beaute told detectives that the suspect could be Greenberg, Republican lobbyist Chris Dorworth, or conservative political blogger Jacob Engels associated with Roger Stone. Beaute led a group of citizens who defeated the controversial proposed housing development in the rural areas defended by Doworth.

Earlier this month, Dowers resigned from the Tallahassee lobbying company, led by Republican fundraiser Brian Ballard. He worked there after losing the Florida House Race in 2012.

The result of fingerprinting the envelope containing a fake letter about Beute led to Greenberg. In August, Greenberg was charged with a more serious crime. The indictment alleged that Greenberg had obtained personal information from car records, engaged in commercial sexual activity, and gained access to personal information to establish a “sugar daddy” relationship. This includes people between the ages of 14 and 18.

Greenberg set up more than $ 400,000 in public funds from tax collectors’ offices to buy and sell private bank accounts and cryptocurrencies shortly after the first arrest, according to a new accusation filed a few weeks ago. I turned to the business I did.

Greenberg was detained in March for violating the terms of his bond release. Greenberg refused to leave his house for several hours when lawmakers appeared to bring him back to prison. A sheriff’s office reported that he commented on suicide and told his agent that he had an improvised explosive device and hid some items in his anal cavity.

Investigators have investigated the relationship between Gates and other Florida politicians, including Doworth. Halsey Beshears, a former top business regulator in the state; and Jason Pilozolo, a hand surgeon and gates campaign donor who served on the board of directors of the Orlando Airport Authority.

Someone familiar with federal investigations is investigating trips made by Gates and other men, and women have received, received, or later government gifts to have sex with them. He said he was investigating whether he had received the job.

The most annoying thing for Gates is the fact that the prosecutor and Greenberg’s lawyer told the judge last week that he expected him to accept the judicial transaction.

Greenberg’s lawyer, Scheller, said:

Former federal prosecutor David Waynestein said Greenberg had the only way to circumvent all 33 charges against him by working with federal prosecutors to provide information. ..

“Are you a big fish? Are you going to take us to someone bigger than you?” Weinstein said.

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The Associated Press writer Kurt Anderson of St. Petersburg, Florida, Terry Spencer of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Bobby Kaina Calvin of Tallahassee, Florida contributed to this report.

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Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter. https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP



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