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Convicted of fraud, ex-Congressman Chaka Fattah faces lengthy sentence

The Philadelphia Democrat was found guilty of using federal funds to pay off personal and political debts.

Former Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah was convicted of racketeering, fraud Reuters

Federal prosecutors are seeking a prison sentence of up to 21 years for former Rep. Chaka Fattah, the Philadelphia congressman who was ousted in an April primary and convicted in June for a racketeering scheme.

Fattah was found guilty on all 23 counts of racketeering, fraud, bribery, money laundering and conspiracy, and resigned two days after his conviction. The 60-year-old Democrat had been a congressman since 1985, but while awaiting trial on the corruption charges, he lost the House of Representatives primary to Dwight Evans in April. Evans won a special election last month and took office a short time later.

Fattahmisused federal funds to pay off personal and political debts, and to benefit his family and friends, according to prosecutors.

He will be sentenced Monday and maintained his innocence since he was charged last year. Prosecutors say Fattah has shown little remorse forviolatingthe public trust, according to court documents.

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Among his crimes, Fattahand some of his associates borrowed $1 million from a wealthy donor in connection with his failed 2007 mayoral campaign, and disguised the funds as a loan. Fattah then turned to a nonprofit he controlled, Educational Advancement Alliance, to repay $600,000 of that loan.

He also used campaign funds to pay off $23,000 of his son's student loans and fraudulently applied for a $15 million grant to help cover a $130,000 debt to a consultant, prosecutors said. He never received the grant. Fattah also concealed an $18,000 bribe as payment for a bogus car sale, prosecutors said.

 
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