Matt Gaetz reportedly sent $900 to ally and accused sex trafficker, who then gave the money to young women
- Rep. Matt Gaetz sent $900 over Venmo to Joel Greenberg, a political ally and accused sex trafficker.
- The Daily Beast reported the money was sent in 2018.
- Greenberg then sent $900, in varying amounts, to three young women, including an 18-year-old.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Matt Gaetz has claimed to be the victim of a smear campaign, the Florida Republican’s office issuing a statement that he “has never paid for sex.” But the lawmaker, who is now under federal investigation, previously sent $900 to a political ally who has been indicted for sex trafficking — and who turned around and sent the money, in various amounts to three young women, The Daily Beast reported Thursday.
All of the women were over 18, according The Daily Beast, which said it reviewed the Venmo transactions following a tip from a source. Joel Greenberg, who received the money from Gaetz, labeled his subsequent Venmo payments “Tuition,” School,” and “School,” according to the report.
A spokesperson for Gaetz did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The revelation comes after a lawyer for Greenberg, the former tax collector for Seminole County, said his client was close to reaching a plea deal with the US Department of Justice.
Greenberg is, among other things, accused of exploiting his role to obtain personal records on young women with whom he had relationships, including one described by prosecutors as being between the ages of 14 and 18.
“I’m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today,” the lawyer, Fritz Scheller, told reporters.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz himself had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. The congressman has denied the allegation.
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