Former aide to Fattah pleads guilty concealing use of campaign funds
A former aide to Congressman Chaka Fattah has pleaded guilty to charges that include “misprision of a felony” — meaning failure to report that a felony has occurred.Gregory Naylor, a former aide to Fattah, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, the same day that charges were filed.
Reports say that Naylor pleaded guilty to federal charges of concealing the usage of more than $600,000 in funds.
The funds described in the federal government’s charges reportedly came from a $1 million contribution to Fattah’s campaign, which was in excess of the city’s $5,000 contribution cap.
Fattah and Naylor allegedly used Naylor’s firms to allow Fattah to circumvent the contribution cap and spend the money on his 2007 mayoral campaign, as well as to pay his son’s college tuition debts.
Naylor pleaded guilty to concealing acts described in court documents as “federal program theft,” a crime under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Section 666.
The federal government’s documents then say he listing $193,580.19 on invoices from his law firm, Syndey Lei & Associates, issued to the 2007 mayoral campaign of an unnamed individual.
Fattah ran for mayor of Philadelphia in 2007 and Naylor worked on his campaign.
The funds were described on Fattah’s campaign finance statements as “contributions in kind.”
Naylor is also charged with helping Fattah pay off son Chaka Fattah Jr.’s college debt by funneling $22,663 in federal campaign funds through his firm.
Naylor’s tax returns for 2007, 2008 and 2010 listed Fattah Jr. as an “independent contractor” and called the tuiton payments “income for services rendered,” according to the federal government.
The final charge against Naylor states that in early 2013, when asked about the payments to Fattah Jr. by federal investigators, he described them as a “retainer” fee to perform services and claimed Fattah Jr. did work for his firm including running errands and taking photographs for the firm, which the government states were false.
The Inquirer reported that Naylor confessed used $600,000 for television ads and $200,000 for street workers on Election Day.
Sentencing for Naylor is scheduled for December.
Chaka Fattah Jr. was indicted on charges of fraud earlier this month, which charges he at the time called “politically motivated.”