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Sentencing is delayed for Gaetz ally who continues to cooperate with prosecutors

<i>Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/AP</i><br/>Joel Greenberg
AP
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/AP
Joel Greenberg

By Paula Reid and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

Joel Greenberg, the former Florida official whose crimes in the state ensnared US Rep. Matt Gaetz in a federal sex trafficking investigation, has been granted another delay of sentencing as he continues to cooperate with authorities following a guilty plea last year.

Greenberg, a former county tax commissioner and close friend of Gaetz’s, pleaded guilty to six charges in May of last year, admitting that he had knowingly solicited and paid a minor for sex.

Gaetz, who is also under investigation for obstruction of justice related to the investigation into him, has not been charged with a crime. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Greenberg’s sentencing has been delayed before because he was helping investigators, according to court records. It was delayed this time after prosecutors gave the judge a confidential status update, a court filing shows.

As part of his plea agreement, Greenberg was required to give “substantial assistance” to investigators as they build out related cases. His lawyer has said that Greenberg had a series of proffers, or meetings, with the Justice Department.

CNN has reported that Greenberg has told the Justice Department about encounters he and Gaetz had with women who were given cash or gifts in exchange for sex.

Greenberg faced dozens of criminal charges before his guilty plea, and the ongoing investigations related to him have expanded to include a circle of local politicians and businessmen whom authorities are scrutinizing.

Greenberg is one of at least three people in Gaetz’s orbit who are known to be cooperating with the federal investigation of the congressman.

An ex-girlfriend of Gaetz’s testified earlier this year before the grand jury.

And Florida radio host Joseph “Big Joe” Ellicott also has cooperated after pleading guilty in a separate bribery scheme. Ellicott’s attorney, Joe Zwick, said his client has met with federal investigators to share what he knows about allegations against Gaetz, including sexual contact with a minor, sex trafficking and obstruction of justice.

The judge has asked the government to file another status report by July 13. According to a court filing, Greenberg will be sentenced in August “absent compelling circumstances” that could lead to another delay.

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