A political consultant and former aide to Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal charges tied to two schemes involving the misuse of federal and local campaign funds initiated by "a long-time friend and former employer."
In announcing the plea obtained from Gregory Naylor, 66, the Justice Department identified that friend only as "Elected Official A."
But some of the wrongdoing that Naylor has pleaded guilty to"”as described Wednesday in a statement by prosecutors"”occurred at a time when he was an adviser to Fattah's 2007 mayoral bid in Philadelphia. Additionally, some of the misused funds are described as coming from not only a "local campaign fund," but also the official's "federal campaign election committee."
There was no immediate comment from Fattah's office in Washington. The 10-term Democratic congressman is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Fattah himself acknowledged in a letter in March to Speaker John Boehner that he had been subpoenaed for documents. And Fattah's lawyer told The Philadelphia Inquirer last year that federal investigators have been probing his finances for years.
The word of Naylor's pleas come after the congressman's son, Chaka Fattah Jr., was charged in April with fraud and filing false tax returns.
The first scheme to which Naylor has pleaded guilty is described in the announcement Wednesday as involving the theft of federal grant funds and private charitable funds to repay an illegal campaign debt incurred by the unnamed official "during a 2007 campaign for elected office."
The second scheme, according to the Justice Department announcement, involved using federal and local campaign funds "to pay down portions of the college debt of Elected Official A's son."
"Some of the payments originated directly from the local campaign fund, and some were illegally sourced from Elected Official A's federal campaign election committee and pass through the local campaign fund account to Naylor," the announcement says.
That statement goes on to specify that Naylor made about $22,000 in improper payments between August 2007 and April 2011 "at Elected Official A's request."
Naylor also falsely claimed on IRS forms that the payments toward the college debt were earned income to Elected Official A's son for services rendered as an independent contractor to Naylor's consulting firm, the announcement says.
"Specifically, Naylor was aware that large amounts of money from an unexplained source were being spent on Elected Official A's campaign, and Naylor helped to conceal the source of those funds by preparing a false invoice for services rendered by his consulting firm."
Naylor also is described as having later learned "that Elected Official A and others orchestrated the theft of federal grant funds to repay the outstanding balance of the campaign debt, and he agreed to the falsification of campaign finance reports to further conceal Election Official A's activities."
Naylor pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements to federal agents and "misprision of a felony" in connection with his attempts to conceal the two campaign-finance-related fraudulent schemes. Sentencing has been set for Dec. 2.