Former Fla. Tax Collector and Matt Gaetz Associate Used State Database to Access Private Info About Britney Spears, Other Celebs: Report

Joel Greenberg is being investigated by the FBI and Department of Justice on sex trafficking charges that could reportedly implicate Rep. Matt Gaetz

Britney Spears, Joel Greenberg
Britney Spears (left), Joel Greenberg. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images; SEMINOLE COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR'S OFFICE

Former Florida Tax Collector and Rep. Matt Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg reportedly used a confidential state datable to find out private information about celebrities and political adversaries.

Greenberg — who plead guilty to multiple federal offenses, including sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl — had access to the Driver and Vehicle Information Database (DAVID) and used it to search information on approximately 700 people between 2017 and 2020, the Orlando Sentinel found in a report released Tuesday.

Among the searches made by Greenberg were Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Greenberg's rival Democratic candidate for tax collector and radio personality, Lynn Dictor.

Reps for Spears and Timberlake could not be reached for comment.

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears
Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. Dave Hogan/Getty Images

DAVID is used to search for driver and motor vehicle information, but also contains private information such as social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and medical information, according to the Sentinel.

Dictor, who was among those in Greenberg's search using the DAVID system, told the outlet, "I don't know what he did with that information. Nothing you could say would surprise me about the depths to which Joel Greenberg would sink to."

"This was an activity by the former tax collector that was not condoned by the DAVID system, and we are working to make sure that this sort of activity does not happen again," Alan Byrd, a spokesperson for the Seminole County tax collector's office, told Newsweek.

A rep for Greenberg, 39, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request to comment.

The latest probe into the politician's past comes months after he pleaded guilty to six criminal charges, including sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl, a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in May.

"Greenberg faces maximum terms of imprisonment of 20 years for wire fraud, 15 years for illegally producing a false identification document, 15 years for conspiracy, and 5 years for stalking. He also faces mandatory minimum sentences of imprisonment: of 10 years, and up to, life in prison for sex trafficking of a child, and of 2 years for aggravated identity theft," the DOJ said. "Greenberg will be ordered to pay restitution to his victims in amounts to be determined at his sentencing."

The New York Times reported at the time that Greenberg told prosecutors he'll work with the Justice Department's investigation — something that could potentially implicate Gaetz, 39.

Gaetz has not been charged with any crime but has been embroiled in the case since late March.

News broke that month that Gaetz is under federal investigation for possible sex trafficking. The Times reported the investigation is centered on the 17-year-old girl Greenberg admitted meeting on a sugar daddy website and paying via Venmo for sex on several occasions, according to court papers cited by multiple media outlets.

Gaetz — a Florida congressman and Republican ally to Donald Trump — has disputed reports that he's being investigated in the same case, instead suggesting he's the subject of an "extortion" plot.

"No part of the allegations against me are true," Gaetz said in a statement at the time. He added: "I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward."

Suspicion of Gaetz's involvement in the case concerning Greenberg was heightened after The Daily Beast reported in April that it had reviewed Venmo records between the associates from 2018, in which Gaetz sent Greenberg an identical sum to what Greenberg then sent, in three payments, to three women.

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The Times had also reported it had reviewed transaction records that "show payments" from Gaetz and Greenberg to one of the women who later said it was for sex.

A spokesperson for Gaetz did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment at the time.

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