Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Matt Gaetz Is Toast, And Awaits Federal Sentencing For Child Sex Trafficking

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 9, 2021

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

And Florida’s CD-1 Republican Representative Matt Gaetz is burnt toast.

In a report published today (Thursday, April 8, 2021), Matt Gaetz is implicated in a pay-for-play scheme in which he laundered money in order to make his payments appear as if they were innocuous.

They were not.

The Daily Beast reported that Republican Florida Representative Matt Gaetz sent $900 to his friend Joel Greenberg, a Federally-accused sex trafficker and former Seminole County tax collector who is cooperating with Federal authorities, in two late-night Venmo transactions – a social media mobile payment service owned by PayPal – in May 2018. Over the course of eight minutes the next morning, Greenberg used the Venmo app to send varying sums of money to three young women, which altogether, transactions totaled $900.

Joel Greenberg, LEFT, & Matt Gaetz

In the first of Gaetz’s Venmo transactions to Greenberg, the memo field was titled “Test.” In the second transaction, he wrote “hit up ___.” But instead of a blank, Gaetz wrote the nickname for one of the recipients. The Daily Beast did not reveal that individual’s nickname because the teen female had just turned 18 less than six months earlier. And when Greenberg made his three Venmo payments to those three young women, he described the money as being for “Tuition,” “School,” and “School.”

The Daily Beast examined those records as evidence of a scandal which is rooted in a criminal case against Greenberg, which also encompasses Gaetz.

Greenberg has been Federally indicted on 33 counts, including sex trafficking crimes involving a 17-year-old female child, and Federal court documents state that he was involved in “sugar daddy” type relationships with those females. Widely published news reports also state that the Justice Department investigation has ensnared Representative Gaetz’s involvement in the cash-for-sex trafficking ring.

This week, during the evidence and information-gathering phase of the report, Gaetz made his once-public list of Venmo transactions disappear, while Greenberg’s Venmo account is not currently publicly accessible. However, a source helped The Daily Beast obtain partial records of Greenberg’s past Venmo transactions.

Greenberg and Gaetz are both connected on Venmo to another woman whom Greenberg paid with Florida taxpayer funds using a government-issued credit card when he was Seminole County Florida Tax Collector. Seminole County auditors flagged hundreds of  payments made by Greenberg with the credit card as “questioned or unaccounted for,” and found over $300,000 in suspicious or unjustified expenses made by him with that card. The Daily Beast was able to obtain the data associated with that credit card through a public records request.

Daniel J. O’Keefe, an Accountant who conducted a forensic audit for Seminole County examining Greenberg’s financial trail as a public official said, “No one has any idea what he was doing. Zero. The arrogance of these guys. They just felt they were above the law. I’ve never seen it this bad.”

Particularly puzzling to O’Keefe was the abundant evidence of weekend expenses, and charges made to hotels, including unspecified high-dollar “consulting” fees, and cash advances that Greenberg made to himself and others.

Gaetz and Greenberg share Venmo connections with at least two women who received payments from Greenberg, and both have professional relationships with each other. And in a comparison made by The Daily Beast of Greenberg’s credit card statements as a Florida public official, and Venmo transactions with Gaetz’s expenses and travel records — which were compiled through campaign finance reports, Instagram posts, and Venmo — they found that, there was significant areas of overlap in some critical areas, including of the two timelines and circles of contact.

The forensic audit made by Daniel J. O’Keefe upon Greenberg’s financial transactions records as a Seminole County Tax Collector also found that in 2018 he used the Wells Fargo Visa card issued to him by Seminole County as part of his official capacity to pay several thousand dollars to another woman whom was a mutual friend of himself and Gaetz. The Daily Beast also obtained those county financial records. Auditors flagged those transactions and said that, despite having a contract and invoice from the company, they “do not know what it was for.”

At the moment, Gaetz has not officially been charged with any crime, and he denies all wrong-doing.

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