'Like Nero fiddling away': Joel Greenberg sentenced to 11 years in prison while Matt Gaetz walks free
Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector and “wingman” to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was sentenced Thursday to over a decade in prison after the judge said he “has provided substantial cooperation to the government — more than I’ve seen in 22 years.” But Greenberg’s own attorney chastised the Dept. of Justice, saying he is “disappointed” after all the evidence his client provided, that others were not prosecuted.
Greenberg, 38, faced about three decades in jail. He “pleaded guilty last May to six of the 33 federal charges he was facing, including charges of stalking, identity theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy to bribe a public official, as well as one charge of sex trafficking,” ABC News reports.
DOJ has not brought any charges against far-right Republican Matt Gaetz.
“Mr. Greenberg has told federal authorities that he witnessed Mr. Gaetz have sex with the 17-year-old girl and that she was paid. In documents filed in connection with Mr. Greenberg’s sentencing, the Justice Department said he had ‘provided truthful and timely information’ that led to the charging of at least four other individuals and ‘provided substantial assistance on other matters’ that the government would address only in a sealed filing,” The New York Times reports.
Greenberg “had faced up to almost three decades in prison for a litany of crimes he had committed, including sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl, stalking a political rival and stealing $400,000 in taxpayer money to buy cryptocurrencies and purchase sports memorabilia. But in the hopes of receiving a lesser sentence, he had cooperated with the government in a series of investigations, including into Mr. Gaetz,” The Times adds.
Greenberg’s own attorney this week blasted the U.S. Dept. of Justice for not moving forward with prosecutions he apparently believes his client has provided sufficient information for pursuing.
“If the Government is so concerned with general deterrence, then why hasn’t it prosecuted the other individuals, including public figures, who were also involved in Greenberg’s offenses?” Fritz Schiller wrote in a memo, according to ABC News.
“Perhaps the DOJ are master strategists far beyond the capabilities of the undersigned. Or perhaps the DOJ is like Nero fiddling away as Rome burns.”
Schiller also told reporters, “I’m shocked – I am disappointed by a number of prosecutions that haven’t been brought.”
After pausing for a moment and saying he wanted to think about how he would answer a reporter’s question, Schiller said, “I think there’s a number of prosecutions that can be brought in the areas of the SBA fraud, the bribery and kickbacks, election fraud, and the sex cases.”
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