Chaka Fattah

Dem Rep. Chaka Fattah Gets 10 Years in Prison for Fraud, Racketeering, Money Laundering

Disgraced ex-Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was sentenced Monday to ten years in prison for bribery and stealing campaign contributions, charitable donations, and federal grant money to finance his personal lifestyle. A probe that expanded more than a year found that Fattah had used federal grant money from NASA to pay back part of an illegal $1 million loan he received from a wealthy friend to fund his failed 2007 campaign for Philadelphia mayor. For the better part a decade, the longtime Philadelphia Democrat and his television anchor wife led a racketeering enterprise spurred on by loyal aides and political consultants, who commingled campaign cash and nonprofit and government funds to pay for Fattah’s personal expenses. Fattah was indicted last July. In June, after a month-long trial, a jury found him and four other accomplices guilty on all federal counts, which included wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle reportedly called the Philadelphia Democrat’s crimes “astonishing” considering he and his wife had a $500,000 annual income placing them near the “top 1 percent.” The extent of Fattah’s criminal corruption was far-reaching. He stole $23,000 in nonprofit funds to repay his son, Chaka Fattah Jr.’s, college loans. Fattah Jr. never graduated, and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for a related fraud case. Fattah also took an $18,000 bribe to finagle an ambassadorship for a friend. Fattah’s friend never got the ambassador post. He and his wife used the $18,000 in bribe money for a down payment on a vacation home. Fattah falsified records and lied to authorities about the money. “For someone so interested in advancing education for the disadvantaged, you had the temerity to steal from the Educational Advancement Alliance, a nonprofit supported by government funds,” Judge Bartle said during Monday’s sentencing. The 60-year-old Congressman-turned-convict was elected to office in 1994. He spent the last two decades in Congress before losing the primary earlier this year. Last summer, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was “deeply saddened” by the news of Fattah’s indictment. He was forced to step down as Ranking Member on the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations subcommittee. “While you have done much good, you also engaged in grave and widespread criminal activity,” Judge Bartle said. “You abused your trust, time and time again.” Two of Fattah’s political consultants and accomplices pleaded guilty and testified against him. Fattah’s wife, longtime Philadelphia news anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah and their two daughters were not charged. Democrat Rep. Dwight Evans now holds Fattah’s seat in Congress.

Nothing really news here..  Another corrupt, liberal Democrat going to prison for…well…corruption.  Born Arthur Davenport, he is now known, is 60 years old.  The only real outstanding question is whether or not Obama will give this loser a pardon…

Pennsylvania congressman convicted in racketeering case

A veteran Pennsylvania congressman was convicted Tuesday in a racketeering case that largely centered on various efforts to repay an illegal $1 million campaign loan. U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was found guilty of all counts against him, including racketeering, fraud and money laundering. His lawyers had argued that the schemes were engineered without Fattah’s knowledge by two political consultants who pleaded guilty in the case. The 59-year-old Democrat had been in Congress since 1995 and served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. But he lost the April primary and his bid for his 12th term. His current term ends in December. Fattah had little reaction to the verdict, but he kept a smile on his face as he conferred with his lawyers afterward. He will remain free on bail. A judge set sentencing for Oct. 4. Prosecutors said Fattah routed federal grant money and nonprofit funds through his consultants to pay back the illegal loan. Justice Department lawyer Jonathan Kravis said in his closing argument that Fattah also used federal grants and nonprofit funds to enrich his family and friends. Defense lawyers acknowledged Fattah might have gotten himself in financial trouble after a costly 2007 mayoral bid, but they said any help from friends amounted to gifts, not bribes. Many of them came from co-defendant Herbert Vederman, a wealthy friend who had dreams of scoring an ambassadorship. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, testified that he never took the pitch from Fattah too seriously, even though Fattah once bent the president’s ear about it. Democrat Ed Rendell, a former mayor and governor, was called to defend Vederman, his former deputy mayor. He said Vederman was qualified for the job and accused prosecutors of cynically misreading the help he lent Fattah. Vederman helped support Fattah’s South African nanny and paid $18,000 for a Porsche owned by Fattah’s TV anchor wife. “The nanny, the Porsche and the Poconos, they weren’t part of a bribery scheme,” Fattah lawyer Samuel Silver argued in closings. “Those were all overreaches by the prosecution.” The campaign loan was just one of several schemes prosecutors outlined during the trial. They say Fattah was aided in his endeavors by current and former staffers who ran his district office or the nonprofits; by Vederman, who now lives in Palm Beach, Florida; and by political consultants Greg Naylor and Thomas Lindenfeld, who pleaded guilty. The other co-defendants are Bonnie Bowser, of Philadelphia, who ran his district office; Karen Nicholas, of Williamstown, New Jersey, who ran the education nonprofit Fattah started; and Robert Brand, of Philadelphia, a businessman married to a former Fattah staffer. The jury on Tuesday came back with a mixed verdict for them.

Is anyone really surprised by this?  Another crooked Democrat gets busted..  Looks like karma finally caught up with Chaka..  His son was convicted of felony bank and tax fraud earlier this year.  So, guess corruption runs in the family..  Well, at least the voters FINALLY bounced his butt out earlier this year in the Dem primary..  So, he’ll probably serve the rest of his term, given that he doesn’t report for sentencing til Oct..