The disgraced Seminole County Tax Collector will be sentenced later this year
In the past few months, two names have been all over the national news in a scandal for the ages. Those names are Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz. As the allegations against them ramp up, the national media is just now catching wind of the craziness that we've been reading about here in Florida for over a year. T
he lavish trips to the Bahamas taken by Gaetz and Greenberg, the allegations of drug use, including ecstasy, and the allegations that minors under the age of eighteen accompanied these men in what's been described by investigators as a child trafficking scheme, all have come to light in recent months.
It's a scandal eerily reminiscent of the one that brought down the disgraced millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, complete with children being flown on private planes to accompany adults while they engage in unethical...not to mention illegal...behavior.
As Gaetz's involvement became known, the focus has been taken off of Greenberg to some extent. By now the world knows that Joel Greenberg is accused to have actually tried pulling off traffic stops with his tax collector badge. Never mind that he isn't even a police officer and impersonating one is illegal.
It's known that Greenberg has been brought up on twelve charges for misspending millions of county dollars with no oversight. It's known that Greenberg also violated the conditions of his bond by stalking his wife, and when the Seminole County Sherriff's office came to get him, he claimed to have guns and explosives that he would use if they entered his home. A standoff ensued.
Greenberg is also accused of stalking and harassing a political rival who dared run against him for the office of the Seminole County Tax Collector.
Matt Gaetz is also now under investigation and Joel Greenberg is under federal indictment for the aforementioned charges. It seems the coming years are about to be very, very bad for both men.
And after many months of back-and-forth, it seems that Greenberg has struck a deal to cooperate with prosecutors, one that includes turning over information about his "wingman" and Florida Congressman, Matt Gaetz, in exchange for a more lenient sentence. What that sentence will be, however, is yet to be decided.
While it's impossible to gauge accurately just how many years he will likely serve behind bars, there's no doubt Joel Greenberg will serve time in prison. For the sex trafficking charge alone, Greenberg faces a mandatory minimum of 12 years in prison by decree of federal law. The maximum sentence for the charge is life imprisonment also.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Judge Gregory Presnell, the U.S. District Judge in charge of overseeing the case, is allowed to circumvent the mandatory minimum if he feels that Greenberg cooperated enough or possibly even for other reasons.
Two other factors come into play here in Greenberg's case, neither of which do him any favors.
First, there's the fact that after being caught and charged, Greenberg continued to break the law. This shows a pattern of criminality that didn't stop even after he was confronted with his crimes. The law doesn't look kindly on people who do this.
And another thing judges generally don't look too favorably upon are people who abuse the power entrusted to them by the voters and taxpayers. People who abuse their positions of public office are met with a specific kind of scorn scarcely matched elsewhere in the court system.
Greenberg's sentencing has been set for the early morning hours of August 19th, 2021, when he'll finally discover what fate lies ahead of him after his attorneys confer with the Federal Government to decide what's an appropriate punishment.
One thing I know is, I wouldn't want to be in Joel Greenberg's shoes right now.