Witness Pleads Guilty & Provides Info To Feds Related To Matt Gaetz Probe

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A key witness associated with the serious crimes committed by former Central Florida county official Joel Greenberg and the potential crimes perpetrated by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) — including child sex trafficking — has pleaded guilty to a pair of offenses and agreed to provide information — including in relation to the Congressman. The individual in question is Joe Ellicott, who The Daily Beast identified as the “long-time best friend” of Greenberg, with the publication adding that Ellicott “knew intimate details about the teenage girl who was paid for sex by the group [led by Greenberg]โ€”and actually texted what essentially amounted to a confession that they were scrambling to try and coverup details about their sex with a 17-year-old from the feds.”

Ellicott has pleaded guilty to offenses including involvement in bribery and illegally selling the ADHD drug Adderall. Ellicott ferried a cash bribe totaling $6,000 to Greenberg when the latter ran the Seminole County, Florida Tax Collector’s office, with Greenberg and the source of the bribe setting up an arrangement under which that third party charged the tax collector’s office more than necessary for certain work, with the extra amounts that were tacked on ending up as a financial kick-back for the associate. Joe Zwick, who has served as an attorney for Ellicott, “told The Daily Beast that his client has been cooperating in the sex trafficking case against Gaetz,” that publication explains. The Gaetz investigation was identified by The Daily Beast as separate from the probe that lead to Ellicott’s charges.

Ellicott’s plea deal offers support for Zwick’s assertion, since the arrangement says that Ellicott must cooperate with federal authorities in investigations other than just the one in which he was criminally charged. Zwick commented as follows:

‘This investigation had nothing to do with the sex scandal, but with the unprecedented things Greenberg was doing with the tax office. The big difference is that Joel Greenberg was elected to serve the people, and Joe was not. And the fact that [the case against Ellicott] was done by criminal information not an indictment is pretty telling of how the prosecutors view him in this case… Obviously they value his continued cooperation, as he does as well. We are going to set off sentencing as long as we can, and do everything we can to reduce his time.’

It was recently reported that an ex-girlfriend of the Congressman had been granted immunity and testified in front of a grand jury working on the Gaetz probe. This particular former girlfriend was, among other ties to relevant events, on a trip with the Congressman and others to the Bahamas that may have involved sex trafficking. Gaetz himself has, of course, denied the allegations against him, and he’s claimed the whole thing to be some sort of political plot to take him down. While it’s true that a Florida individual named Steve Alford pleaded guilty to fraud for trying to get millions of dollars out of Matt’s father in support of initiatives including a pardon for the Congressman, that attempted bribery and the investigation are distinct, and the probe appears to have started before the fraud.