SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL - Joel Greenberg, who resigned from his position as Seminole County Tax Collector on Wednesday, is accused of stalking and impersonation in an attempt to tarnish the reputation of a political opponent. Greenberg was indicted by federal prosecutors on Tuesday.
FOX 35 News now knows that the victim in the indictment is Brian Beute. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Greenberg sent nine letters to Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, where Beute is a teacher, posing as a student alleging the Beute engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a student. Investigators claimed to have found Greenberg’s DNA and fingerprints on the letters.
Greenberg is also accused of making a fake Twitter account, impersonating Beute, and posting racist content.
Beute’s attorney David Bear released this statement to FOX 35 News:
“Brian has been facing these threats from the beginning of his campaign. The easy thing would have been to back down and let the bully have his way. After all, the bully had crafted such a disgusting piece of fiction that simply releasing it would have destroyed Brian’s career. That anxiety has weighed very heavily on Brian and his family for this entire time, not knowing what this loose cannon would do next. But people have been backing down from bullies in politics for too long, and someone had to finally stand up to them. Brian chose not to back down in October when these fiction letters came in and instead redoubled his persistence to clear Seminole County of the kind of people who would use their positions of trust to victimize people in our own community. Brian and his family are relieved and grateful that the US Attorney’s Office has fought to bring the perpetrator of this nightmare to justice.”
“No one in the Seminole County Tax Collector’s office had any idea that the allegations, if true, were going on," said Brian Bieber, attorney for Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office. "It’s shocking and disturbing.”
Bieber, the attorney for the office as a whole and not Greenberg, says the indictment was a surprise to all and they are fully cooperating with investigators.
“Essentially, the Seminole County Tax Collector’s Office is a witness in this entire case,” said Bieber.
Greenberg faces up to 10 years in prison. He is due back in court to be arraigned on July 1.