Texas Man Convicted Of Conspiracy And Honest Services Fraud For Bribing Former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida
Orlando, Florida –United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found Michael C. Shirley (40, Austin, Texas) guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and four counts of honest services fraud. Shirley faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 31, 2023. Shirley was indicted on August 10, 2022.
According to the evidence presented at trial, in 2016 Shirley served as the campaign manager for former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg. In 2017, on his first day in public office, Greenberg caused the tax collector’s office to enter into a lucrative consulting contract with Shirley’s newly formed company, Praetorian Integrated Services LLC, which provided Shirley with $12,500 each month for the performance of “consulting services.” In fact, Shirley did little to no work for the tax collector’s office under the contract each month. Additionally, Shirley began submitting grossly inflated invoices to the tax collector’s office for printing services.
Trial evidence further demonstrated that on September 25, 2017, Shirley, through middleman Joseph Ellicott, gave Greenberg a $6,000 cash kickback and bribe. He paid this kickback and bribe in exchange for Greenberg’s award of the contract and so that Shirley could continue receiving monthly payments for his “consulting.” As a result of the kickback and bribe, Shirley was allowed to continue billing his monthly fee to the Seminole County Tax Collector’s office until September 2019. In total, Shirley defrauded Seminole County taxpayers out of more than $634,000.
In 2022, Ellicott was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment for his role in the bribery and kickback payment.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda S. Daniels and Chauncey A. Bratt.
Updated July 28, 2023