William Cummings, USA TODAY
Published 12: 44 p.m. ET April 2, 2021 | Updated 1: 38 p.m. ET April 2, 2021
A Justice Department investigation into Secure. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is focused on alleged cash payments made in trade for intercourse, including to a 17-12 months-old-fashioned woman, in accordance to The Novel York Occasions.
Citing unnamed sources accustomed to the investigation, text messages and receipts, the Occasions reported that the Florida Republican is suspected of getting intercourse with ladies recruited online by Joel Greenberg – a frail Seminole County tax collector who has been indicted on federal costs including intercourse trafficking – for encounters at hotels and other locations that on on the least one occasion enthusiastic using the unlawful drug ecstasy.
According to the Occasions’ sources, Gaetz also asked the women to recruit others for intercourse with him and his mates. On the least one of the women agreed to contain intercourse with a third man connected to Florida Republican politics, the Occasions reported.
Gaetz, 38, has denied any wrongdoing and has insisted the allegations were associated to an extortion procedure towards him. His office did no longer accurate now respond to USA TODAY’s demand for observation however told the Occasions in a assertion that “Matt Gaetz has by no map paid for intercourse” and the congressman “refutes all of the disgusting allegations fully.”
“Matt Gaetz cherishes the relationships in his past and appears to be forward to marrying the devour of his lifestyles,” the assertion said.
The Occasions said it reviewed receipts from cell cost applications Cash App and Apple Pay that confirmed payments from Gaetz and Greenberg to one of the women. The ladies told their mates they’d bought payments for intercourse with the two males, which were also in most cases paid with cash withdrawn from hotel ATMs, the paper reported.
The Justice Department is reportedly exploring whether an underage woman was among these Greenberg and Gaetz paid for intercourse. The Occasions reported the inquiry is having a seek into whether Gaetz had intercourse with the woman, 17, and if she bought any cash or presents from him.
Gaetz and Greenberg were political allies and Gaetz, now in his third length of time, equipped to assist Greenberg if he ran for better office. However Greenberg resigned as tax collector after he was arrested final 12 months by federal brokers in a 14-count indictment alleging he stalked a political rival, old-fashioned his position to originate pretend IDs and intercourse trafficked a minor.
Final week, he was indicted on additional costs for allegedly submitting fraudulent claims to develop COVID-19 reduction loans and bribing a Runt Exchange Administration first rate as section of the plot. The indictment alleges he committed these offenses after his arrest on the different costs. Greenberg, who is scheduled to accelerate on trial in June, is now indicted on more than 30 counts and, if convicted, could well presumably face a long time in prison.
According to multiple media reports, the investigation into Greenberg led investigators to birth a separate investigation into Gaetz in the summertime of 2020. The limited one intercourse trafficking payment centers on the identical 17-12 months-old-fashioned woman inquisitive about the Gaetz investigation, in accordance to the Occasions.
The encounters underneath investigation took place in 2019 and 2020 and on the total took space at a quantity of Florida hotels. The Occasions said messages and interviews confirmed Gaetz and Greenberg told the women where and when to meet and how powerful they were willing to pay.
According to the Occasions, Greenberg old-fashioned the online content Seeking Contrivance to score the women he and Gaetz allegedly paid for intercourse. The internet content, which claims to contain more than 10 million active contributors, payments itself as a neighborhood where “Sugar Babies and Sugar Daddies or Mommas both score what they need, after they need it.” It defines a “Sugar Daddy” as a a success person who “relish pretty company by their aspect” and for whom money “isn’t an issue.” A “Sugar Child” is defined as an “pretty” person “having a seek for the finer issues in lifestyles” who appreciates “exceptional trips and presents.”
“Sugar Babies score to expertise a luxurious standard of living, and meet successfully off folks on a typical basis,” the location promises.
In the assertion to the Occasions, Gaetz’s office said the congressman “has by no map ever been on one of these internet sites in anyway.”
Gaetz told the Occasions his attorneys had spoken with the Justice Department and that he was the discipline of the investigation, no longer the aim.
“I only know that it has to conclude with ladies,” Gaetz told the Occasions of the investigation. “I contain a suspicion that someone is attempting to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward.”
Citing multiple unnamed sources, CNN reported Thursday evening that Gaetz has on the total bragged of his sexual activities to his colleagues on Capitol Hill and shared nude photos and videos of the women he claimed to had been with.
And ABC Information, also citing unnamed sources, reported Friday that as a member of the Flordia Legislature – sooner than he was elected to the U.S. Home – Gaetz and other young lawmakers had created a scoring system for his or her sexual encounters. They awarded diversified factors for interns, their female colleagues and women they’d heard were virgins. The alleged “sport” was beforehand reported by the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Contributing: Jim Small, Pensacola Information Journal
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