Ex-Florida Tax Collector Charged With Sex Trafficking

By - August 25, 2020
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Last week, media reports stated that a former tax collector in Florida allegedly paid to have sex with an underage girl. According to federal authorities, Republican Joel Greenberg also reportedly checked Florida’s motor vehicle database records for people with whom he had ‘sugar daddy’ relationships.

Greenberg was picked to be Seminole County tax collector in the last election. He resigned in June.

Federal prosecutors charged the ex-tax official in a new indictment that was unsealed in Orlando Federal Court that accused him of sex trafficking a child.

Alleged Victim Is a Female Between 14 and 17

According to an attorney who represents Greenberg, the sex trafficking charge involves a girl between the ages of 14 and 17. If he is convicted, he could get 10 years in federal prison.

According to the indictment, the alleged crime took place in 2017. His attorney said his client denies the allegations of sex trafficking. He added that the federal government would not be able to prove the case and they will prevail.

Greenberg will face the federal judge on the sex trafficking charge on Aug. 27. He is now facing up to 12 federal charges, sex trafficking, producing false identification, ID theft, stalking, and the unlawful means of identification of another person

Greenberg was arrested on June 23 at his home in Heathrow, near Lake Mary in Florida. Inside the house, federal agents confiscated his and his wife’s computers and cell phones. A backpack was located on the passenger’s seat in his car that contained several fake IDs.

Resigned His Position Two Months Ago As Investigation Unfolded

Greenberg left his job two months ago when federal agents indicted him for stalking a political opponent and manufacturing fake IDs. Court documents state that he made fake Florida and Puerto Rico licenses in 2018.

In the stalking case, state prosecutors say that Greenberg mailed phony letters to a school and make a fake Twitter account to harm a political opponent’s reputation.

The indictments stated that Greenberg pretended to letters were sent by a student who had information that his opponent had engaged in a sex crime with a minor.

In 2018, the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida condemned him for what they claimed were racist and xenophobic social media posts.

Greenberg Also Accused of Using Public Funds To Establish Blockchain Company

The sex trafficking charge is just the beginning of the legal headaches for Greenberg. According to a Florida newspaper, he also has been accused of using public funds to establish a blockchain company.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that he billed the Tax Collector’s Office for $65,800 to purchase computer servers for a firm he was establishing called Government Blockchain Systems LLC. He then returned the cash by writing several checks.

Greenberg allegedly billed the office for 20 servers in September 2019. The next day, the office wrote a check to Government Blockchain Systems. The company gave the tax office a receipt that it purchased 15 of the 20 services. It is unclear why only 15 servers were purchased.

Government Blockchain Systems was set up in July 2019 by Greenberg and Samuel Armes, the president of the Florida Blockchain Business Association. Armes was brought into the Tax Office to advocate for blockchain and to be legislative affairs director. But he left the post in December.

Greenberg told the Sentinel that he firm wanted to create a new system that would transfer resident’s personal information from their driver’s licenses to a blockchain.

Within Months Of His 2016 Election, Trouble Started

Within a few months of his election as a tax collector in November 216, Greenberg was embroiled in controversies that would result in his resignation in just a few months. It would appear that his office’s power soon went to his head, and he began to engage behavior that was legally questionable at best.

An investigation by the Orlando Sentinel found that he had paid almost $2 million in salaries and contracts to close friends, business partners, and others to work in the tax office. At least six of the people he brought in to work in the tax office were part of his wedding party in 2016.

The following June, he started to let employees carry firearms in the office.

In 2017, he pulled over a woman he thought was speeding. He scolded her while showing his tax collector’s badge, which looks like a sheriff’s badge.

The next month, he was pulled over for speeding. He tried to use his tax collector position to get himself out of a ticket.

In 2018, when he was accused of posting racist social media posts, Greenberg asked if there was one society in the developed world that has benefited from the introduction of more Muslims.

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