In 2016, few knew much about the 31-year-old man who just scored an upset victory to win public office in Seminole County. A constant stream of odd news and controversies began almost as soon as he started the job. Still, he became a rising star in local Republican politics and accumulated powerful friends. And now Greenberg faces a staggering 33 federal charges. And the outcome of this case threatens to ensnare some of Greenberg's closest allies, including congressman Matt Gaetz. From the Orlando Sentinel, this is the story of Joel Greenberg: the man, the scandal and the players.
The criminal case against Joel Greenberg
In 2016, few knew much about the 31-year-old man who’d just scored an upset victory to win public office in Seminole County. A constant stream of odd news and controversies began almost as soon as he started the job. Still, he became a rising star in local Republican politics – and accumulated powerful friends. And now Greenberg faces a staggering 33 federal charges. And the outcome of this case threatens to ensnare some of Greenberg’s closest allies, including Congressman Matt Gaetz.
In this episode of Joel Greenberg: The Man, The Scandal, The Players, we start by diving into the criminal case against Greenberg, the potential penalties he faced if he’d gone to trial and what exactly he’s accused of — as well as whether he could have faced justice any sooner.
What launched the criminal investigation (2:32)
From fake IDs to sex trafficking (7:05)
CARES Act loans (8:58)
Bitcoin operation: Innovative or criminal? (11:12)
Greenberg’s early brushes with the law (15:36)
From local to national story (19:55)
Matt Gaetz and Joel Greenberg: A political friendship
At one time, Congressman Matt Gaetz considered Joel Greenberg his wingman. Now, Greenberg is a pariah, and their friendship, for Gaetz, is a liability. Greenberg, the former Seminole County tax collector, faces a slew of federal charges — 33, as the case now stands — and is slated to reach a plea agreement with prosecutors by May 15.
Matt Gaetz: A child of political royalty (3:09) Sex game rumor (4:37) “Revenge porn” opposition (5:53) Going full MAGA (7:33) Joel Greenberg and powerful people (10:50) The dark side to Gaetz-Greenberg friendship (14:33) Who is Jason Pirozzolo? (17:54) Pirozzolo’s role in Florida’s medical marijuana gold rush (20:29) Prozzolo's political influence (23:20)
The rise and fall of Joel Greenberg
Before Joel Greenberg was a central figure in a national political scandal involving Congressman Matt Gaetz, he was a font of local controversies — a disruptor, a lightning rod, a rising star, and a cautionary tale.
Troubled youth (3:01) The 2016 election victory (5:46) Butting heads with elected officials (8:32) Greenberg’s “cowboy manner” (12:53) The bombshell drops (17:53) Malware scheme (22:30) Greenberg’s charming side (23:37)
Power players | Ep. 4
Before his downfall, Joel Greenberg relished accumulating friendships with powerful and well-connected people. Episode 4 of Joel Greenberg: The Man, The Scandal, The Players delves into this network of power brokers, many of whom wound up at various times on the payroll of the tax collector’s office.
Chris Dorworth (:00) Mike Ertel (7:40) Matt Morgan (8:22) Anthony Sabatini (10:49) Eric Foglesong (12:15) Frank Artiles (14:35) Jason Pirozzolo (16:18) Halsey Beshears (18:07) Chris Anderson (20:35)
Joel Greenberg's Plea Deal
In this episode of Joel Greenberg: The Man, The Scandal, The Players, we take a deep dive into Greenberg’s plea deal and discuss the deal’s implications for U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz and others.
Greenberg’s lawyer speaks (:00) The plea deal (3:29) $70,000 for sex over 2 years (6:34) Sex with 17-year-old (8:16) Identity theft (11:13) Cryptocurrency scam (13:27) Fraudulent COVID-19 loans (18:21) What’s next for Matt Gaetz? (21:05)
Matt Gaetz and Florida's ‘green rush’
This episode of Joel Greenberg, The Man, The Scandal, The Players, focuses on the connections between Congressman Matt Gaetz and other key figures in Florida's medical marijuana industry.
2014 law launches Florida’s marijuana industry (:00) Last-minute tweaks to Charlotte’s Web law (4:13) Nurseries, Investors, lobbyists eye 5 licenses (7:51) Orlando-based doctor enters ‘green rush” (10:43) Marijuana opinions shift: Amendment 2 passes (13:12) Gaetz’s ties to Ron DeSantis (15:56) Access to key players vital (18:27)
Time for a update. Thanks
Investigative journalism at its best
This podcast proves the value of an unfettered press.
Informative and scary
Thank you for all the work you have done on this podcast. As a Florida resident I’m incensed by the lack of outrage by our current and past legislators on both sides of the aisle regarding this case and these players. I am however swollen with gratitude and pride for the work of the Seminole county police detectives involved in putting all the pieces together and handing it to federal authorities on a silver platter! Thank goodness we have ethical and skilled detectives!