Seth Kaplan, a longtime friend who did campaign work for Congressman Brendan Boyle and was a staffer for PA Rep. Kevin Boyle, turned himself in to police on Thursday over a charity scheme. Investigators say he allegedly solicited fraudulent donations for American flags, according to the Northeast Times.
In a statement sent to City & State, Kevin Boyle stated: "It's with great shock and anger that I learn of these developments involving a former staffer of mine who left my legislative office in January 2015. It is sickening. Somerton Civic is a very positive force for the community and deserves justice."
Kaplan currently serves as head of the Somerton Civic Association in Northeast Philadelphia. He has been charged with embezzling some $19,000 from that organization and several local businesses under the guise of raising money to install a number of American flags in the neighborhood. His status with the organization appears to be up in the air: Despite cached pages appearing on a Google search, Kaplan’s name was nowhere to be found on the Somerton Civic Association’s website.
Kaplan had been the subject of a police investigation for several weeks.
“I gave just because it was for American flags. Who could say no to that?” local businessman John Capponi told the Times.
Kaplan left Kevin Boyle’s office last year to run as a Democratic candidate for the 170th district, with the support of both Boyles.
The pick would spark a feud between the brothers and Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who wanted his friend’s wife, Sarah Del Ricci, to run for the slot.
Stack won out. But, ultimately, Republican Martina White would sweep the seat – with, some rumors asserted at the time, the Boyles’ quiet support.
Kaplan has kept a low profile since the race. He was a fundraising and public relations coordinator for the Issac Newton Foundation, a nonprofit that funnels donated money to the MaST Charter School.
This article has been updated to reflect that Kaplan last worked for PA Rep. Kevin Boyle, not US Rep. Brendan Boyle before running for the 170th District seat, and that Kaplan is no longer involved with the Isaac Newton Foundation.