Former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
The ex-politician and onetime GOP wunderkind was found to have wildly abused his office. During his stint in Seminole County, he used his position to stalk political rivals, run cryptocurrency operations with government funds, defraud COVID-19 relief programs, impersonate a police officer and pay escorts for sex, including a woman who was underage at the time.
A judge gave Greenberg the highest recommended sentence from prosecutors, noting that Greenberg’s time in office was “truly outrageous” and a “violation of the public trust.”
U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell said that Greenberg’s case was a first in his 22 years on the bench. Though he could have faced much stiffer penalties, some leniency was granted due to Greenberg’s willingness to incriminate other criminal Florida politicians and their associates. Greenberg was at the center of an investigation into Congressman Matt Gaetz that appears to have stalled. His attorney says Greenberg cooperated with more than 20 ongoing investigations, several of which have resulted in charges.
Greenberg apologized during the hearing, telling the judge he feels “remorse for what I have done.”