Indicted Gaetz Friend Made More Than 150 Venmo Payments To Dozens Of Women Plus A 17-Year-Old

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) looks on during a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing July 29, 2020. (Photo by Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images)

Joel Greenberg, an associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) who has been indicted for sex trafficking and dozens of other crimes, reportedly used Venmo to make more than 150 payments to dozens of women and one 17-year-old.

The Daily Beast reports obtaining transactions that show Greenberg, who served as Seminole County tax collector at the time, paid $300 to the then-17-year-old in June 2017 with “Food” in the memo box.

That was reportedly the same teen whom the Daily Beast previously reported had received part of the $900 payment Greenberg made to three females via Venmo the morning after Gaetz had Venmo’d the tax collector that same amount of money in March 2018 (the teen was 18 years old by then). The Florida Republican reportedly wrote “Hit up [redacted teen’s name]” in the memo box.

The Daily Beast also reports that in 2017 Greenberg made at least 16 Venmo payments adding up to almost $5,000 and Cash App payments adding up to $1,500 to a woman who would later date Gaetz. The woman reportedly worked as an intern in D.C. in January 2018 and said she dated the congressman during and after her senior year in college.

The Daily Beast also revealed a previously unreported Venmo transaction from Gaetz to Greenberg on November 1, 2018 in which the GOP lawmaker paid $300 and put the love hotel emoji that looks like “?” in the memo box. Greenberg reportedly booked a one-night stay at luxury hotel in Florida for that date, according to the Daily Beast.

Gaetz is currently under investigation for alleged sex trafficking of a 17-year-old and involvements with women who were paid for sex in connection with Greenberg, all of which the Republican congressman has denied. The investigation sprung from the criminal case against Greenberg, who is expected to plead guilty.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: