Embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz’s pal Joel Greenberg formally pleaded guilty Monday to six charges, including sex trafficking a minor, according to reports.
Greenberg, a former tax commissioner in Florida’s Seminole County, admitted that he recruited women for commercial sex acts and paid them more than $70,000 from 2016 to 2018, including at least one underage girl he paid to have sex with him and others.
The guilty plea is part of a cooperation agreement Greenberg struck with federal prosecutors that will allow him to avoid some charges in exchange for providing information and testimony in a wide-ranging investigation.
Greenberg had inked the plea agreement Friday, which was cemented at the in-person hearing Monday morning in Orlando federal court.
The disgraced former tax man wore a jail-issued jumpsuit, a white surgical mask and was handcuffed during the brief hearing, in which he responded to the judge in short sentences, the New York Times reported.
As part of the probe, federal investigators are examining whether Gaetz — a staunch President Donald Trump supporter — engaged in illegal sex trafficking, prostitution and public corruption.
As part of the plea deal, Greenberg will have to provide the feds with “substantial assistance” for their investigation, including testifying at grand juries or trials if needed.
The agreement makes no mention of Gaetz, who has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.
Greenberg faces up to 12 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender and pay restitution, the New York Times reported.
The feds are probing Gaetz on a host of allegations, including whether he paid women for sex after Greenberg recruited them on so-called “sugar daddy” websites, the New York Times reported.
Authorities reportedly began looking at Gaetz after text messages allegedly showed Greenberg asking a worker to create a duplicate identification for the politician outside of proper channels.
Investigators are also probing whether a trip Gaetz took to the Bahamas with Jason Pirozzolo, a hand surgeon and cannabis businessman, violated sex-trafficking laws, CBS reported, citing sources.