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Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg indicted on federal charges

Joel M. Greenberg. Photo: Seminole County Tax Collector's Office
Joel M. Greenberg. Photo: Seminole County Tax Collector's Office

A federal grand jury has indicted Seminole County Tax Collector Joel M. Greenberg on charges of stalking and identity theft. 

Federal prosecutors describe an elaborate smear campaign against a political opponent.

They say he sent bogus letters and created a fake Facebook account last fall to falsely accuse the opponent, who is a school employee, of sexual misconduct with a student.

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Joel M. Greenberg. Photo: Tax Collector's Office via Facebook[/caption]

Prosecutors also allege that Greenberg, 35, of Lake Mary, used a fake Twitter account -- created using the opponent’s name and photo -- to falsely paint him as a segregationist who favored white supremacy.

Only one of his opponents in the GOP primary is a teacher. But Brian Beute declined to confirm that he was the target of the alleged smear campaign. He referred all questions to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The indictment was filed last week but was disclosed on Tuesday.

Greenberg, who was elected to the office in 2016, could not be reached for comment. 

As for whether he will be removed from office, governor’s press office says the case is under review.

J.R. Kroll, his other GOP opponent, said he was not the target. But Kroll says he knew there was a good chance Greenberg would "implode."

The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Lynn Moira Dictor on Nov. 3. Dani Mora Day, who has no party affiliation, has also qualified to run.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.