ORLANDO, Fla. -- Joel Greenberg left behind fingerprints and DNA on letters Seminole County’s former tax collector wrote while posing as a student and falsely accusing a political foe of sexually abusing a child, a federal prosecutor said.
What You Need To Know
- New details revealed in Orlando federal court filing
- Political foe investigated, cleared by law enforcement
- Foe's employer received nine letters from fake student
The prints, DNA, and other details were revealed for the first time in a 17-page document filed this week in Orlando federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida.
It also reveals Greenberg had a helper, described only as an “unindicted conspirator.”
In his filing, Handberg opposes a request from Greenberg’s attorneys for the public release of more details in the case against Greenberg, including the name of the political foe -- a school employee.
Handberg said Greenberg and his attorneys already know the name of the foe.
Greenberg, who is charged with six crimes, is accused, among other things, of stalking his enemy in a failed, high-tech mudslinging campaign designed to leave him unsullied.
Greenberg, who resigned June 24, has entered a not guilty plea and dropped his re-election bid.
While in office, Greenberg allegedly sent nine letters to the foe’s employer posing as a fictitious “very concerned student” with false claims about his enemy’s sexual relationship with a student, prosecutors said.
That information, including the foe’s name, was shared privately with Greenberg’s attorneys through a process called discovery, Handberg said.
“The discovery includes copies of the nine letters that were sent to the school, as well as extensive information about the fingerprint and DNA evidence that prove that the defendant committed the offenses,” Handberg wrote.
Spectrum News is not naming the political foe because the allegations are false.
“Each of the nine letters includes a fake document that was made to appear to be from the victim’s Facebook account,” Handberg wrote. “In the fake document, the victim is represented as telling the student, 'Please remember to keep this a secret. I could go to jail.'"
Greenberg is also accused of being behind a fake Facebook account that claimed to belong to a “very concerned teacher” at his enemy’s school.
He is also responsible, prosecutors say, for a fake Twitter account set up under the name and with the photo of his enemy while falsely portraying him as a white supremacist.
“The IP address used to open both accounts comes back to [Greenberg’s] home,” Handberg wrote. The Twitter account was set up under Greenberg’s personal email domain, joelgreenberg.net, according to Handberg.
“The defendant’s motive was to falsely allege that the victim had committed a terrible crime to get law enforcement to investigate the victim. The defendant’s plan” worked, Handberg wrote.
“Law enforcement investigated the victim, and the victim took administrative leave from work,” his filing said. “After investigating the matter, local authorities found that there was no evidence that the school employee had committed any criminal activity against a child and concluded the allegations were unfounded.”
Greenberg is also accused of using driver’s licenses that should have been shredded to create false IDs with his photo and someone else’s personal information.
Federal officials also accuse him of tapping into a regulated database of Florida drivers and vehicles “to conduct inappropriate and unauthorized searches of various individuals using his account and another employee’s account.”
Greenberg experimented with fabricating concealed-weapons permits and stole “surrendered” driver licenses until his last day as Seminole’s tax collector, prosecutors allege.
Seminole County voters are picking Greenberg’s replacement during this election cycle.
Two Republicans, Brian Beute and J.R. Kroll, will face off August 18. The GOP winner faces a Democrat, Lynn Moira Dictor, on November 3.