Former Philadelphia Rep. Chaka Fattah has received 10 years in prison for racketeering, fraud, and money-laundering after his conviction on June 22.
A jury found Fattah guilty “on 22 counts related to misspending federal grant money and for schemes linked to an illegal $1 million loan he received from a friend to help fund a failed 2007 mayoral campaign in the city.”
The prosecutors said Fattah then “stole federal and charitable grant money to repay $600,000 of that loan.” Other schemes included accepting “$18,000 to try to help a friend win a presidential appointment as an ambassador, an effort that failed.” Instead, Fattah used that money as down payment on a Poconos vacation home “and to evade House ethics rules he said the money came from selling his wife’s Porsche.
“Those in high places will certainly know what happens in this courtroom today,” said U.S. District Judge Harvery Bartle, III, as he sentenced Fattah, according to WPVI, a Philadelphia TV station.
Bartle noted that Fattah and his wife, a TV news anchor, made more than $500,000 in combined income, placing them in the top 1 percent of Americans.
“While you have done much good, you also engaged in grave and widespread criminal activity,” Bartle added. “You abused your trust, time and time again.”
The Justice Department asked for 17 to 21 years:
“He used his position in Congress to benefit himself, rather than his constituents,” U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said of Mr. Fattah after the sentencing. “The judge appropriately took into consideration the significance of his criminal conduct, but also took into consideration all of the work that he’s done on behalf of the citizens of Philadelphia.”
Three of Fattah’s associates have already received convictions on racketeering conspiracy.
Fattah represented Philadelphia for 22 years before facing defeat in his Democrat primary this April. He resigned in June after his conviction.
His son Chaka Fattah, Jr., is currently serving a five-year prison sentence on bank and tax fraud charges.DONATE
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