(FreedomBeacon.com)- On Thursday, a federal judge sentenced a former Florida tax collector to 11 years in jail for trafficking a 17-year-old female for illicit purposes and other crimes.
Joel Greenberg, a former Seminole County tax collector, was charged with stalking a political opponent, public corruption, forging licenses, and conspiring to submit false claims for a federal loan.
Greenberg admitted to six federal offenses, including identity theft, stalking, wire fraud, and conspiracy to corrupt a public officer.
According to The Associated Press, Greenberg told U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell in an Orlando courthouse, “nothing justifies my behavior.” “My conduct is so shameful. I feel remorse for what I’ve done.”
Greenberg also apologized to the youngster, the residents of Seminole County, his parents, children, and ex-wife in court.
“I deserve punishment, no matter how long that may be,” he said.
Greenberg faced up to 30 years in prison for various offenses, including trafficking a 17-year-old girl, stalking a political competitor, and stealing $400,000 in taxpayer money to buy cryptocurrency and sports memorabilia.
However, federal authorities commuted his sentence in exchange for cooperation with the government, which resulted in the investigation of 24 people, eight of whom were charged with carnal crimes.
Federal authorities investigated U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who had ties to Greenberg, after charges that he paid a minor for intercourse in violation of federal trafficking statutes.
Gaetz has repeatedly disputed the charges, claiming they were part of an extortion attempt by “guys at the Justice Department.”
According to sources acquainted with the Gaetz probe, prosecutors advised their bosses last month that they would not be seeking charges against the representative in connection with a trafficking investigation that has been continuing since 2020.
Prosecutors suggested that the charges would be withdrawn because Greenberg and another key witness in the case were untrustworthy.
The judge in Matt Gaetz’s criminal case has commended his cooperation with the government, saying he has “never seen a case like this in 22 years”.