Matt Gaetz’s growing human trafficking scandal is starting to see some very suspicious reports emerge as he continues to issue vague denials and support from anonymous women. But as the days go on and late night TV eagerly awaits more information about the Florida Representative and his dealings, a new report about his Venmo transactions with an accused human trafficker have drawn new attention in a still-ongoing Justice Department investigation.
The Colin Jost doppelgänger who apparently has a relationship with Joel Greenberg, who is accused of taking part in a pay-for-sex ring and also improperly using taxpayer funds through his former position as tax collector in Seminole County. A report from The Daily Beast detailed public Venmo transactions from Gaetz to Greenberg, who then sent money to three women.
In two late-night Venmo transactions in May 2018, Rep. Matt Gaetz sent his friend, the accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg, $900. The next morning, over the course of eight minutes, Greenberg used the same app to send three young women varying sums of money. In total, the transactions amounted to $900.
The memo field for the first of Gaetz’s transactions to Greenberg was titled “Test.” In the second, the Florida GOP congressman wrote “hit up ___.” But instead of a blank, Gaetz wrote a nickname for one of the recipients. (The Daily Beast is not sharing that nickname because the teenager had only turned 18 less than six months before.) When Greenberg then made his Venmo payments to these three young women, he described the money as being for “Tuition,” “School,” and “School.”
The Daily Beast examined these records as a scandal, rooted in a criminal case against Greenberg, engulfs Gaetz.
While the report only details the connections between Gaetz and Greenberg, the case against the latter is pretty damning at this point. And, as the Daily Beast pointed out, there are reports that the former Seminole County tax collector may be cooperating with authorities in their investigation. The friend of Gaetz has been federally indicted on 33 counts, including sex trafficking with a 17-year-old and allegations of “sugar daddy” relationships. The public transactions involving Gaetz and Greenberg, and apparently several women as a result, are part of a number of transactions under scrutiny right now.
When comparing the transactions, Instagram posts and other records, the Daily Beast reported that there’s plenty of smoke here to warrant the investigation, news of which broke last week.
Gaetz and Greenberg share two direct Venmo connections with women who received payments from Greenberg.
In 2018, Greenberg paid one of those women several thousand dollars using his taxpayer-backed Seminole County-issued Wells Fargo Visa card, according to county financial records obtained by The Daily Beast. Auditors flagged the transactions, saying that, despite having a contract and invoice from the company, they “do not know what it was for.”
The full story has a lot of details about Gaetz and Greenberg and their connection. And while it’s important to note that Gaetz has not been charged with a crime yet, it’s stunning to see that all of these transactions were made with cash apps in the first place, let alone publicly and with a pretty clear sense of where it was going. What it’s for hasn’t been confirmed yet, and Gaetz insists that he’s done nothing wrong. But the more we learn about just what he and Greenberg were up to when they were hanging out, the worse it looks for a sitting member of the House of Representatives.
[via Daily Beast]