Gregory Naylor testified against Congressman Chaka Fattah in court today. Naylor gave the most detailed account yet of how the Congressman allegedly committed fraud and money laundering.
Naylor, and another former aide Thomas Lindenfeld, are key witnesses who have already pled guilty for their roles in Fattah’s scheme. In fact, Naylor’s cooperation in 2014 is what led prosecutors to start building their case against Rep. Fattah.
That case centers mainly around Fattah’s 2007 failed mayoral bid and the debts associated with that run. In order to pay off the loans, Naylor testified that Fattah had him forge documents and take out a $1 million dollar loan from Sallie Mae.
The Congressman was able to use his influence to get contracts awarded to nonprofits he controlled. He then took these funds and used them to cover his debts, according to Naylor.
Asked why he went along with all of this illegal behavior Naylor responded simply, “The Congressman asked me.”
Eventually, though, Fattah could not keep up with all of his debt payments and soon many creditors were demanding their money. Despite this, Fattah is accused of funneling what money he had to his son so he could pay off his college debt.
Fattah’s defense maintains the same position that it held during opening statements. They argue that both Naylor and Lindenfeld acted on their own without the knowledge or approval of the Congressman.
Regardless of the outcome of the trial, Fattah will no longer serve as a Congressman past January 2017 as he lost April’s Democratic primary to State Rep. Dwight Evans.