Looks like another member of Congress is getting ready to join the Orange Jumpsuited Politician Group!
WASHINGTON — Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.) was indicted on federal corruption charges on Wednesday in connection with fraud around his unsuccessful 2007 campaign for mayor of Philadelphia.
In a 29-count indictment, federal prosecutors charged that Fattah and his associates were part of a racketeering conspiracy that involved “several schemes” intended to further their “political and financial interests.”
Prosecutors said Fattah, who was elected to Congress in 1994, and four associates were involved in a scheme to borrow $1 million from a wealthy donor, disguising it as a loan to a consulting company. After losing the election, Fattah reportedly returned $400,000 in unused campaign funds to the donor, then engaged in a series of maneuvers — including the misuse of federal grant funds — to repay the outstanding $600,000.
In addition, the indictment alleges a number of improper dealings between Fattah and Herbert Vederman, a lobbyist and a former deputy mayor of Philadelphia who served as the finance director for Fattah’s mayoral campaign. Vederman continued to serve in that capacity until at least 2011 as he negotiated the campaign’s outstanding debts, according to the indictment.
Fattah allegedly accepted payments and other things of value from Vederman while doing him a number of personal and political favors. The congressman offered a job to Vederman’s girlfriend, the prosecutors say, and at another point signed and hand-delivered a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to give Vederman an ambassadorship.
Fattah and his wife, Renee Chenault Fattah, also allegedly used bribery proceeds to “close on a vacation home” in the Poconos by falsely disguising an $18,000 payment on the home as a sale of their Porsche to Vederman.
The indictment also alleges that Fattah used campaign funds to pay for his and his wife’s personal expenses, as well as his son’s student loans…More...