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Friend Matt Gaetz asks for sentencing

ORLANDO, FLA. – A former Florida tax collector whose arrest has led to a federal investigation into US Representative Matt Gaetz wants the judge to delay his sentencing scheduled for next month some more time as he continues to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

Joel Greenberg’s attorney on Friday asked a federal judge in Orlando, Florida, to allow him to file a motion to adjourn the sentencing hearing currently scheduled for March 29. Judge Gregory Presnell of the United States had previously authorized the postponement twice.

In court papers, Greenberg’s attorney said his client cooperated with federal prosecutors in Orlando and Washington in active investigations.

Attorney Fritz Scheller said he planned to file a petition outlining the reasons for the extension but that it contained “sensitive” information about the investigations, as well as Greenberg’s cooperation. Because of the confidential nature of that information, that request and any subsequent hearing should be sealed and out of the public eye, Scheller said in court papers.

The judge then on Friday approved the request to seal the petition requesting adjournment.

Greenberg is facing 12 years in prison after pleading guilty last May to six federal counts, including child sex trafficking, identity theft, stalking, phone fraud and wire fraud plot to bribe a state official.

Greenberg’s plea agreement with prosecutors requires continued cooperation with an ongoing investigation into sex trafficking. His cooperation may play some role in an ongoing investigation into Gaetz, a Republican friend of his who represents the majority of Florida Officers. Gaetz is accused of paying a 17-year-old girl for sex. He has denied the charges and previously said they were part of an extortion plot.

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