A federal judge on Monday agreed to again postpone the sentencing of a close associate of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz — the third such delay in the high-profile case.
Senior U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell granted the request from Joel Greenberg, the man at heart of the federal investigation into Gaetz and several other men. Greenberg, who has been cooperating with authorities, had asked for the sentencing delay in early February.
“It appears that a further continuance of defendant’s sentencing is in the interest of justice,” Presnell wrote in his order granting Greenberg’s request.
Presnell had told the parties the scheduled March 29 sentencing date which he agreed to delay was “a deadline that we’re going to have to meet.”
Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, had said Greenberg was cooperating with federal prosecutors in Florida and in Washington — a reference to the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Unit, which is responsible for prosecuting public corruption and is probing the Republican congressman.
Greenberg, known as Gaetz’s “wingman,” formerly served as a Seminole County, Fla., tax collector before he pleaded guilty to multiple counts, including sex trafficking a minor and fraud. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped more than 20 criminal counts.
Greenberg was a close associate of Gaetz and several other men who were named in a federal grand jury subpoena in December 2020, including Gaetz and a Florida collectibles dealer, Joe Ellicott. Last week, Ellicott pleaded guilty in federal court to drug and fraud charges and is cooperating with federal authorities.
Federal prosecutors have been investigating whether Gaetz had obstructed justice and had sex with a 17-year-old and paid her for it in 2017. Gaetz has not been charged with any crimes and has repeatedly denied all wrongdoing.
The case has lingered for more than a year, but has recently seen increased activity. Besides Ellicott pleading guilty and Greenberg’s sentencing delay, one of Gaetz’ ex-girlfriends testified before the federal grand jury in Orlando that has been convened to look into Gaetz, according to NBC News.