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Ex-Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg agrees to pay Seminole County nearly $2M in restitution

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

(SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla.) — Former Seminole County tax collector Joel Greenberg, the one-time associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz who in May pled guilty to multiple charges including sex trafficking a minor, has reached a verbal agreement to pay back the county over $1.8 million in restitution, according to the Seminole County attorney.

County Attorney Bryant Applegate told Seminole County commissioners on Tuesday that he had reached a “verbal” deal for Greenberg — Gaetz’s self-described one-time wingman — to pay back nearly $1.9 million in restitution related to his time in office, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to ABC News.

If Greenberg fails to pay the restitution, the county will move to go after other entities, the source said.

Greenberg’s lawyer, Fritz Schiller, confirmed the verbal agreement to ABC News.

Greenberg, who reached a plea deal earlier this year and has been cooperating in the ongoing federal investigation into potential sex trafficking allegations against Gaetz and others, was initially charged with over 30 counts last year, including defrauding the Seminole County Tax Office out of hundreds of thousands of dollars through schemes ranging from buying sports memorabilia and cryptocurrency to paying women he met on a self-described “sugar daddy” website using the office credit card.

Gaetz has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime.

“When I became aware of some of Greenberg’s misdeeds, I deeply regretted my friendship with him,” Gaetz told Pensacola ABC affiliate WEAR in October. “I do believe that it’s fair for the people of Northwest Florida to judge me based on the associations that I’ve had, and I deeply regret my association with Joel Greenberg, politically, socially and otherwise.”

Greenberg is scheduled to be sentenced in March after his sentencing was delayed twice over the summer.

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