Political consultant convicted in opponent payoff scheme

December 3, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A long-time Philadelphia political consultant has been convicted of campaign finance violations involving the 2012 re-election bid of Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Brady.

A jury Monday convicted Kenneth Smukler of conspiracy to defraud the United States and other campaign finance violations. Prosecutors say Smukler helped orchestrate a $90,000 payment to Brady’s primary election opponent through a series of false documents and illegal pass-throughs. Opponent Jimmie Moore had agreed to drop out of the race if Brady’s campaign could pay off his campaign debts.

Smukler was also found guilty in connection with his work on the unsuccessful 2014 campaign by former Democratic U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies to reclaim her seat.

Prosecutors say Smukler caused the Margolies campaign to illegally use general election funds to pay for primary election expenditures, then lied about it to the campaign’s lawyer.

Brady did not seek re-election this year.

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