Matt Gaetz Reportedly Used an Accused Sex Trafficker as a Middleman to Venmo a Teen

Illustration for article titled Matt Gaetz Reportedly Used an Accused Sex Trafficker as a Middleman to Venmo a Teen
Photo: Erin Scott-Pool (Getty Images)

Venmo transactions show Republican Congressman and confirmed creep Matt Gaetz—the subject of a federal investigation into his alleged relationship with a 17-year-old girl—sending money to an accused sex trafficker, who then forwarded the payment to a teen.

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The two transactions occurred in May 2018, according to the Daily Beast, when Gaetz sent his friend Joel Greenberg $900 late one night using the app. The memo for the first payment read “Test”; in the second, Gaetz wrote “hit up ___,” filling in the nickname of an 18-year-old woman.

During an eight-minute window the following morning, Greenberg reportedly used the Venmo funds to send payments to three young women on the app, totaling $900. In the caption for each payment, Greenberg wrote “Tuition,” “School,” and “School,” respectively. A similar transaction occurred with at least one other woman, whom Greenberg paid using his government-issued credit card, the Beast reports—that is, with taxpayer dollars. Seminole County auditors reportedly found some $300,000 in suspicious payments on the card.

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The investigation into Greenberg, a former tax collector in Florida, is what led the Department of Justice to Gaetz in the first place. Last year Greenberg was indicted on multiple federal charges, including one for sex trafficking a 17-year-old. (She is reportedly the same 17-year-old at the center of the case against Gaetz.) According to the New York Times, Greenberg would meet young women on a sugar dating site and introduce them to Gaetz, who then went on to have sex with them.

Greenberg is expected to plead guilty to these charges in the coming weeks, which the Times described as a sign that he is likely going to act as a key witness against Gaetz.

Gaetz of course has denied ever paying a woman for sex, and has rounded up every woman he knows (the women who work for him) to talk about how nice he’s always been to them. It sounds like we’re about to get even more information to the contrary once Greenberg starts talking.

Night blogger at Jezebel with writing at The Baffler, The Nation, The New Republic, Vice, and more.

DISCUSSION

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A similar transaction occurred with at least one other woman, whom Greenberg paid using his government-issued credit card, the Beast reports—that is, with taxpayer dollars. Seminole County auditors reportedly found some $300,000 in suspicious payments on the card.

I’ve had a company issued credit card ONCE in my career. I basically treated it as non existent in my wallet because I did not have many occasions to use it in a business setting, and I had no desire to even deal with the thing.

Meanwhile, these nimrods use theirs to pay for completely inappropriate shit to the tune of six fucking figures. I guess I should be thankful they’re so goddamn stupid because that kind of shit is what gets them caught. I shouldn’t be shocked, yet here I am, completely astounded at the unmitigated gall of these assholes.