According to a new report published by The Daily Beast, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) paid an accused sex trafficker who later sent the same amount of cash to teen girls.
The scheme to funnel money to the girls was conducted via mobile payment service Venmo. The report says that Gaetz sent two Venmo transactions amounting to $900 to accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg in May 2018. He labeled the first transaction “test” and the second transaction “hit up _____,” with the alleged nickname of a young woman.
Greenberg later sent money to three girls labeled as “Tuition,” “School” and “School” that totaled $900.
The Daily Beast found another Venmo connection between Gaetz and Greenberg and a woman.
The news outlet said that while it was investigating the transactions, Gaetz’s public Venmo record disappeared.
Greenberg has also made his Venmo transactions private, according to the report.
The Beast report comes after the New York Times reported that Gaetz’s legislative director Devin Murphy became the second staffer to leave Gaetz’s office, amid allegations that the Florida congressman engaged in sex trafficking and sex with a minor.
Murphy’s departure comes behind Luke Ball, the congressman’s former communications chief, who left the Republican’s team last week when the scandal broke out.