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Rep. Matt Gaetz's associate gets yet another sentencing delay

A sealed status report filed by prosecutors has led Joel Greenberg's sentencing to be pushed back until August.
Credit: AP
In this Sept. 30, 2019, file photo, Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg talks to the Orlando Sentinel during an interview at his office in Lake Mary, Fla. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)

ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal judge has approved yet another sentencing delay for a former Florida tax collector who was a close associate of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell said in an order Monday that a sealed status report filed by prosecutors justifies postponing the sentencing of Joel Greenberg until August. The sentencing has been delayed twice previously.

No details were released, but Greenberg has been cooperating in an ongoing investigation of allegations that Gaetz, a Republican who represents most of the Florida Panhandle, paid a 17-year-old girl for sex.

Gaetz has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and claims the allegations are part of an extortion plot.

Greenberg, the former Seminole County tax collector, is facing up to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty last year to six federal crimes, including sex trafficking of a child, identity theft, stalking, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official.

Presnell said prosecutors must file a status report July 13 but that the sentencing should take place in August “absent compelling circumstances.” Prosecutors file such status reports privately for the judge to protect witnesses and the ongoing investigation.

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