A confession letter written by Joel Greenberg in the final months of the Trump presidency claims that he and close associate Rep
A confession letter written by Joel Greenberg in the final months of the Trump presidency claims that he and close associate Rep. Matt Gaetz paid for sex with multiple women—as well as a girl who was 17 at the time.
“On more than one occasion, this individual was involved in sexual activities with several of the other girls, the congressman from Florida’s 1st Congressional District and myself,” Greenberg wrote in reference to the 17-year-old.
“From time to time, gas money or gifts, rent or partial tuition payments were made to several of these girls, including the individual who was not yet 18. I did see the acts occur firsthand and Venmo transactions, Cash App or other payments were made to these girls on behalf of the Congressman.”
The letter, which The Daily Beast recently obtained, was written after Greenberg—who was under federal indictment—asked Roger Stone to help him secure a pardon from then-President Donald Trump.
A series of private messages starting in late 2020—also recently obtained by The Daily Beast—shows a number of exchanges between Greenberg and Stone conducted over the encrypted messaging app Signal, with communications set to disappear. However, Greenberg appears to have taken screenshots of a number of their conversations.
“If I get you $250k in Bitcoin would that help or is this not a financial matter,” Greenberg wrote to Stone, one message shows.
“I understand all of this and have taken it into consideration,” Stone replied. “I will know more in the next 24 hours I cannot push too hard because of the nonsense surrounding pardons.”
“I hope you are prepared to wire me $250,000 because I am feeling confident,” Stone wrote to Greenberg on Jan. 13.
In a text message to The Daily Beast, Stone said that Greenberg had tried to hire him to assist with a pardon, but he denied asking for or receiving payment or interceding on his behalf. He did, however, confirm he had Greenberg prepare “a document explaining his prosecution.”
In the private text messages to Stone, Greenberg described his activities with Gaetz, repeatedly referring to the Republican congressman by his initials, “MG,” or as “Matt.”
“My lawyers that I fired, know the whole story about MG’s involvement,” Greenberg wrote to Stone on Dec. 21. “They know he paid me to pay the girls and that he and I both had sex with the girl who was underage.”
As part of the effort to obtain a pardon, Greenberg wrote multiple drafts of his confession letter. The Daily Beast obtained two typed versions and an earlier handwritten one. Certified forensic document examiner and handwriting expert Wendy Carlson compared the letter to writing samples obtained through two public records requests. She said it was her professional expert opinion that the person who authored a 2019 financial disclosure for Joel Greenberg, as well as Greenberg’s 2020 Board of Elections form, was the same as the author of the letter.
“The person who authored the forms has been identified as the person who authored the letter,” Carlson said.
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In those letters, Greenberg detailed his relationship with Gaetz. He confessed to paying young women for sex. And he claimed that he, Gaetz, and others had sex with a minor they believed to be 19 at the time. Greenberg said he learned she was underage on Sept. 4, 2017, from “an anonymous tip” and quickly contacted Gaetz.
“Immediately I called the congressman and warned him to stay clear of this person and informed him she was underage,” Greenberg wrote. “He was equally shocked and disturbed by this revelation.”
Greenberg continued in the handwritten draft that he “confronted” the then-17-year-old and explained to her “how serious of a situation this was, how many people she put in danger.”
“She apologized and recognized that by lying about her age, she endangered many people,” he continued. “There was no further contact with this individual until after her 18th birthday.”
But after she reached the age of legal consent in Florida, Greenberg re-established contact. As The Daily Beast previously reported, about five months after her 18th birthday, Gaetz sent Greenberg $900 in two Venmo transactions—one titled “Test” and the other titled “hit up ___.” The blank contained a nickname for this girl, and Greenberg paid her and two other women a total of $900 about six hours later.
In his confession letter, Greenberg also admitted he facilitated Gaetz’s interactions with college students—and paid them on his behalf.
“All of the girls were in college or post college and it was not uncommon for either myself or the Congressman to help anyone [sic] of these girls financially, whether it was a car payment, a flight home to see their family or something as simple as helping pay a speeding ticket,” Greenberg wrote.
A partial record of Greenberg’s Venmo and Cash App transactions suggests that payments were usually for a lot more than “gas money.” The Daily Beast identified more than 150 Venmo payments from Greenberg to women, as well as more than 70 additional payments on the Cash App, that were generally between $300 and $500—though some exceeded $1,000. The Daily Beast also talked to 12 of the more than 40 different women who received money, and they all said they understood Greenberg was paying them at least in part for sex.
Greenberg, a disgraced local politician in Florida, currently faces a sweeping 33-count indictment that ranges from stalking to sex trafficking. In March, The New York Times revealed that the initial investigation into the Seminole County tax official expanded as agents looked into his role in arranging paid sexual encounters for his friend, Matt Gaetz.
Federal prosecutors have not criminally charged Gaetz—or even publicly confirmed the expansion of their probe. While Gaetz acknowledges the existence of the investigation, he denies having sex with an underage teen. But at some point, Greenberg began to cooperate with investigators, a development his lawyer has suggested poses a serious problem for Gaetz.
That defense lawyer, Fritz Scheller, declined to comment for this story, citing attorney-client privilege.
Gaetz’s office did not respond. However, Logan Circle Group, an outside public relations firm Gaetz has hired, sent the following statement:
“Congressman Gaetz has never paid for sex nor has he had sex with a 17 year old as an adult. We are now one month after your outlet and others first reported such lies, and no one has gone on record to directly accuse him of either. Politico, however, has reported Mr. Greenberg threatening to make false accusations against others, which seems noteworthy for your story and in fact sounds like the entirety of your story. Congressman Gaetz has had no role in advocating for or against a pardon for Greenberg and doubts such a pardon was ever even considered.”
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