SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — An audit is raising questions about spending by embattled former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg.
What You Need To Know
- Questions have been raised by a recent audit of former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg's spending practices
- Office administrators are questioning more than $1 million in consulting fees set up by Greenberg
- He is currently in jail facing 33 federal charges ranging from sex-trafficking to identity theft
Documents show office administrators question more than $1 million of consulting fees set up by Greenberg.
Greenberg faces 33 federal charges ranging from sex-trafficking to identity theft.
While Greenberg and his lawyer negotiate a plea agreement connected to the charges, more details are coming out about his time as tax collector through a forensic audit of business transactions.
Part of it focuses on several consulting fees charged to the Seminole County’s Tax Collector office.
At a price tag of more than $1 million — office administrators, including the acting tax collector and CFO at the time of the audit — said Greenberg entered into more than 10contracts that could be considered a misuse of tax dollars.
A firm called Blueprint Enterprises, owned by Longwood Commissioner Matt Morgan, charged the office more than $40 thousand. Auditors report office administrators say no project was ever completed and there’s no evidence of a work product.
Spectrum News 13 reached out to Morgan, both by phone and email, to ask about his work for the tax collector’s office, but did not hear back.
The audit shows taxpayers also paid $45,000 for services from the former Secretary of State of Florida and former Seminole County supervisor of elections, Mike Ertel.
Auditors report there was no evidence of a work product by Ertel’s company called Public Efficiency Group.
Spectrum News 13 was able to reach Ertel. He said his company did consulting work for the tax collector office and not for Greenberg, personally.
He pointed us to his website. It outlines much of the consulting work and includes executive team interviews, COVID response and budget among others.
Taxpayers paid hundreds of thousands more dollars for various consulting work.
Auditors report employees had no idea what some of these firms were doing and there’s no work product to be found.
Auditors note that several of these companies “were created shortly after” Greenberg “took office and several were dissolved shortly after he left office.”
Auditors said most of the contracts were excessive or unnecessary.
As for Greenberg, he has until mid May to reach a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.