US congressman Matt Gaetz used the Venmo payments app to send $900 to accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg, who the next morning Venmo'd a sum totalling the same amount to three young women, according to the Daily Beast.
Gaetz allegedly sent the money in two Venmo transactions in May 2018. In the memo field for one, the politician wrote "hit up ___" adding a nickname for an 18 year old woman, says the Beast.
The next morning, Greenberg made Venmo payments to three women, including the person referenced by Gaetz. In his payments, Greenberg added the messages "Tuition," "School," and "School," says the Beast.
Venmo feeds are public by default. Users have to go to the app's privacy settings to change their feeds to "private" or "friends". To make old public payments disappear, users must set "past transactions" to private.
According to the Beast, Gaetz's old transactions disappeared this week but the publication secured some details of Greenberg's past online transactions.
Gaetz and Greenberg are also both connected to the then 18 year old - who now reportedly works in the porn industry - through Venmo, says the Beast.
Greenberg has been federally indicted on 33 counts, including sex trafficking. He is expected to strike a plea deal.
According to the New York Times, the Greenberg case has led to a Justice Department investigation into Gaetz for allegedly paying for a 17-year-old girl to travel with him across state lines and inducing her to have sex.
Gaetz denies any wrongdoing.