Matt Gaetz sits in the House chamber surrounded by empty desks.

Another Guy in Matt Gaetz’s Orbit Just Pleaded Guilty & Is Cooperating With Investigators

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A former Florida shock jock sports radio host named “Big Joe” Ellicott has pleaded guilty to a number of crimes with ties to the ongoing federal investigation into Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.

According to The Daily Beast, Ellicott’s case does not have to do with the allegations that Gaetz paid an underage teenage girl for sex, although Ellicott did apparently have “intimate knowledge” of the alleged sex trafficking and even sent incriminating texts to the group chat.

Ellicott’s messages state that everyone in the group—which appears to include Gaetz and Gaetz’s “wingman” Joel Greenberg—“knew [the minor] was underage the whole time, had sex with her, and they both went [to] see other guys.”

In one message, Ellicott wrote, “for other guys she brought [the minor’s nickname] along to see, that could be trafficking.”

Yes, Big Joe, it could be trafficking! Thank you for stating it so clearly!

Ellicott was apparently best friends with Greenberg, who pleaded guilty to a litany of crimes last year. The charges against him included trafficking a minor but were mainly centered on massive corruption in how he operated as a city tax collector. They ranged from using government resources to make fake I.D.s “to facilitate his efforts to engage in commercial sex acts” to spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to create fake no-show jobs for his friends.

Ellicott’s crimes are related to those of his BFF Greenberg. He was charged with fraud in relation to “bribery and kickbacks,” and also illegally selling Adderall.

From The Daily Beast:

According to prosecutors, Ellicott was the intermediary in the kickback arrangement, carrying a $6,000 cash bribe from an unnamed tax office contractor to a Public Official—Greenberg. In exchange for the bribe, Greenberg and the contractor worked out a deal where the contractor inflated invoices for work with the tax office, pocketing the difference.

Ellicott also copped to selling a single unnamed client more than $5,000 worth of Adderall over the course of two years. The client made the payments to Ellicott’s company, “Uncle Joe’s Coins,” and transferred money via check and Venmo, according to the agreement. One $95 Venmo payment was disguised as “2 hour full body massage.”

Ellicott pleaded guilty to both of those crimes and is reportedly cooperating with prosecutors on the investigation into Matt Gaetz.

(image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.