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Philadelphia-Area Political Consultant Charged: A federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania returned a superseding indictment today adding charges in a pending criminal case against a Philadelphia-area political consultant, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Louis D. Lappen for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The original indictmenz, returned on Oct. 24, 2017, charged Kenneth Smukler, 57, of Villanova, Pennsylvania, with causing unlawful campaign contributions, causing the filing of false reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and causing false statements to the Federal Election Commission in connection with a 2012 congressional campaign.  The superseding indictment charges Smukler with these same offenses, as well as making conduit contributions to a federal campaign committee and obstructing an FEC investigation in connection with the 2014 congressional campaign of a different candidate.

According to the indictment, Smukler made and caused to be made excess and conduit contributions and engaged in a falsification and obstruction scheme involving a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for Member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014.  According to the indictment, the excess contributions came from associates of Smukler and were funneled through two of Smukler’s consulting companies.  The conduit contributions were routed through another political consultant and the candidate.

As alleged in the indictment, in or about April 2014, Smukler became aware that the campaign was running out of funds that it could spend on primary election expenses.  According to the indictment, Smukler nevertheless directed the campaign to continue paying for goods and services associated with the primary election.  According to the indictment, in or about May 2014, one of Smukler’s companies made a $78,750 payment to the campaign that was used to pay for primary election expenses.  Smukler falsely told the campaign that this money came from a segregated media account, when in fact the payment was funded by an associate of Smukler’s and therefore constituted an illegal campaign contribution. Read more

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Philadelphia-Area Political Consultant Charged: A federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania returned a superseding indictment today adding charges in a pending criminal case against a Philadelphia-area political consultant, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Louis D. Lappen for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.