Seminole County

Joel Greenberg to plead guilty to sex trafficking a child, 5 other charges as part of plea agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. — Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg is set to plead guilty to six federal criminal counts, including sex trafficking of a child, during a hearing on Monday, according to a plea agreement filed in federal court on Friday.

The other charges he plans to plead guilty to include production of a false ID; aggravated identity theft; wire fraud; stalking; and conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, according to paperwork filed in federal court in Orlando.

READ: Plea hearing set in federal court for former Seminole County Tax Collector

According to the agreement, Greenberg also “agrees to cooperate fully with the United States in the investigation and prosecution of other persons.”

The first count, the child sex trafficking offense, carries a minimum term of 10 years in prison to life and a $250,000 fine. Two of the other counts have maximum sentences of up to 15 and 20 years.

Referencing the child sex trafficking count, the plea agreement filed Friday states Greenberg knew or had “reckless disregard of the fact that the person had not attained the age of 18 years and would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act.”

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The agreement states that Greenberg was involved in “sugar daddy” relationships in which he paid women for sex, according to the paperwork, but tried to disguise those payments as “school related expenses or other living expenses.”

He used at least four accounts to pay for commercial sex acts, including his personal Venmo account, his personal American Express account, his American Express account at the Seminole Tax Collector’s Office and his personal Fifth Third Bank account.

From December 2016 through December 2018, he used those accounts to conduct more than 150 transactions totaling more than $70,000, “all of which involved Greenberg paying women for commercial sex acts using those accounts,” according to the court documents.

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One person Greenberg paid for commercial sex acts “was a minor under the age of 18 for part of the time when Greenberg paid her to engage in commercial sex acts with him and others,” the court records say.

He met the minor online, where she represented herself as an adult. He and the minor ultimately made contact and met up using the Snapchat messaging app.

Greenberg and the minor engaged in “commercial sex acts” at least seven times while she was still under the age of 18 and a minor, according to the court papers. He would meet her at hotels in Central Florida and would supply her and others with the drug Ecstasy, which he would also take, the paperwork says.

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“Greenberg also introduced the minor to other adult men, who engaged in commercial sex acts with the minor,” the paperwork says.

The documents say “other men who Greenberg introduced the minor to engaged in commercial sex acts with the minor in Greenberg’s presence when the minor was under the age of 18 years old.”

Greenberg used his access to the Florida Driver and Vehicle Information Database (DAVID) to “look up and investigate his sexual partners,” according to the filings. He had access to the driver database system because he was tax collector and that office issues licenses.

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One of the people he looked up in the DAVID system was the minor. The paperwork says on Sept. 4, 2017 Greenberg ran a search on the minor because he “had reason to believe that the minor was under the age of 18.”

The agreement includes a provision that Greenberg must register under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act and keep that registration current for any residence or place of employment he has in the future.

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It also states Greenberg will agree to forfeit assets and property, including “$654,799.95 in proceeds the defendant admits he obtained as a result of the commission of the offenses.”

Greenberg is scheduled to be in federal court on Monday.

Channel 9 is going through the entire 86-page plea agreement now and will have live updates on Eyewitness News at 4 p.m.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.