Seminole County

Texts, voicemail link Rep. Matt Gaetz, former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Newly publicized texts and a voicemail recording give insight into the relationship between North Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz and former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg.

Federal investigators are currently looking into both men in separate cases.

Since early last year, Gaetz has been under federal investigation for possibly having sex with a 17-year-old girl and paying her to travel across state lines. Gaetz denies these accusations.

READ: Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg faces new charges related to pandemic loans

Greenberg is already facing charges of sex trafficking a child, stalking and identity theft, as well as new charges related to Small Business Administration pandemic loans he received after resigning from his office.

Greenberg and Gaetz were close friends and allegedly visited the Seminole County tax collector’s office in Lake Mary together a couple of times after hours before Greenberg resigned according to newly released text messages.

Report: Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz investigated over possible sexual relationship with minor

On Friday, State Rep. Anna Eskamani shared a bizarre voicemail that Greenberg and Gaetz left on her phone on July 4, 2019.

“My dear Anna, this is your favorite tax collector,” Greenberg says in the voicemail. “I’m up in the panhandle with your favorite Congressman Mr. Gaetz.”

Eskamani said the most telling thing about the voicemail is Greenberg’s close relationship with Gaetz.

READ: Body camera footage shows incident that landed former Seminole County tax collector back in jail

“They were very close to each other and vacation with each other and travel with each other,” Eskamani said. “It was very eye opening to realize he was attempting to get close to me and it was something I’m really glad I did my best to keep that distance.”

Eskamani said the call was unexpected, and she never called Greenberg back.

“It was out of the blue, but it was this behavior of two men acting like college kids is all too common in politics and so you kind of just accept it as the norm, but realize there is something much deeper happening which is why its important to share our stories,” she said.

READ: Former Seminole County tax collector re-arrested on federal bond violation; bond revoked by federal judge

Watch the video above to hear the voicemail.

Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich,

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.

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.