Joel Greenberg, a friend of Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, pled guilty on Monday to six federal charges, including sex trafficking with a minor.
Greenberg, 37, a former Seminole County, Fla., tax collector, also pleaded guilty to five other crimes.
The case led to a federal sex trafficking investigation of Gaetz, 39, a Republican who represents Florida’s 1st Congressional District in the panhandle.
Greenberg pleaded guilty to six counts at the federal courthouse in Orlando on Monday, in exchange for dropping 27 additional counts. He also agreed to provide “substantial assistance” in the Gaetz investigation.
The sex trafficking charge involves a 17-year-old girl and other charges include production of a false document, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, stalking and conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.
Greenberg is expected to be sentenced in a few weeks, though no official court date has been set. He could face anywhere from 12 years to life in prison.
Greenberg is also obligated to pay nearly $655,000 in restitution to his victims, who include Seminole County taxpayers.
Prosecutors claim Greenberg used old driver licences from consumers to make fake IDs with his name, and that he used counterfeit driver licences when hiring for sex on a website.
Gaetz, a Republican congressman, revealed in March that he was under federal scrutiny over a possible involvement with an underage teenager, but said the charges were part of a blackmail plot involving a former Justice Department official. The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation last month.
Gaetz has not been charged and has refuted any allegations of corruption.