Former Seminole tax collector seeks another sentence deferral

ORLANDO, Florida. – Former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg is again asking a judge to delay his sentencing on federal charges as he continues to cooperate with authorities ‘against multiple people,’ according to court documents recently filed.

The judge did not immediately rule on Greenberg’s claim.

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Greenberg previously pleaded guilty to six federal charges last year, including child sex trafficking, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and harassment.

In exchange for prosecutors dropping more than two dozen other charges, Greenberg agreed to cooperate with the government on further investigations and prosecutions.

Greenberg faces a mandatory minimum of 12 years in prison and potentially more, depending on his level of cooperation with federal authorities.

This is the third time Greenberg has asked to postpone his sentencing, which was originally scheduled for August 2021.

U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell agreed to delay Greenberg’s sentencing until March 29 after federal prosecutors said they needed more time to get information from Greenberg.

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“It’s an unusual request (to delay sentencing) but I think it’s an unusual case,” Assistant US Attorney Roger Handberg told the judge during a hearing in October 2021. “The evidence takes us far . And frankly, it takes us to places we hadn’t anticipated.

During that hearing, Presnell indicated that there would be no further delay beyond March.

In his latest motion to postpone the sentence, which federal prosecutors do not oppose, Greenberg offers to provide the judge with confidential information about his cooperation during a closed hearing.

“(The) proceeding will convey specific information to the Court regarding government investigations and Mr. Greenberg’s cooperation against multiple individuals,” Greenberg’s attorney Fritz Scheller wrote.

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Court records do not identify these individuals.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, an associate of Greenberg, is under federal investigation for possible sex trafficking, according to published reports.

Gaetz is not charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing.

Gaetz’s ex-girlfriend appeared in the federal courthouse in downtown Orlando last month where she allegedly testified before a grand jury.

Joe Ellicott, a partner and former employee of Greenberg, reached a plea deal with prosecutors last month after admitting to taking part in a bribery scheme. The plea deal requires Ellicott to cooperate with the government on further investigations.

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Esther L. Steinbach