Matt Gaetz's associate Joel Greenberg is expected to strike a plea deal to cooperate with prosecutors next week

Matt Gaetz's associate Joel Greenberg is expected to strike a plea deal to cooperate with prosecutors next week
  • Joel Greenberg, an associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz, will reportedly strike a formal plea deal Monday.

  • Greenberg had already been cooperating against Gaetz for a year, the NYT previously reported.

  • Both men are the targets of a federal criminal sex-trafficking investigation.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Joel Greenberg, a close associate of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, is expected to strike a formal plea deal with prosecutors on Monday, CNN reported.

It's a significant development and one that will likely tighten the screws on Gaetz as he faces a Justice Department investigation into whether he violated federal sex-trafficking laws.

News of Greenberg's upcoming plea deal isn't entirely unexpected. The New York Times reported last month that he's been cooperating with prosecutors since last year. Greenberg is said to have given investigators information about an "array of topics," according to the report, including telling them that he and Gaetz had interactions with women who were given cash and gifts in exchange for sex.

Greenberg's defense attorneys and prosecutors also told a judge earlier in April that they were on the cusp of reaching a plea deal.

It's unclear what the terms of the agreement would be, but Greenberg's lawyer, Fritz Scheller, hinted that his client was cooperating with prosecutors, telling reporters after the hearing, "I am sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today."

Based on media reporting about the Gaetz inquiry, prosecutors most likely have a large trail of breadcrumbs to follow as they work to corroborate the allegations against the GOP lawmaker.

The investigation is said to be looking into whether he used campaign money to fund travel for women, and The Times reported investigators were scrutinizing Gaetz and Greenberg's interactions with "multiple women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments."

CBS News reported that prosecutors were also zeroing in on a trip Gaetz took to the Bahamas in late 2018 or early 2019 with a hand surgeon and marijuana entrepreneur who is accused of footing the bill for female sex workers, hotel rooms, and travel expenses. And The Daily Beast reported that Gaetz sent Greenberg $900 via Venmo in 2018 and that Greenberg then sent $900, in varying amounts, to three young women.

Gaetz's spokesperson previously told Insider, "Congressman Gaetz has never paid for sex," adding that "it seems Mr. Greenberg has been trying to ensnare innocent people in his troubles for quite some time."

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