A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by Chaka Fattah Jr., who is currently charged with loan fraud by federal indictment, can proceed.
However, some specific claims from the suit were denied and the FBI and Department of Justice were dropped as defendants from Fattah Jr.'s lawsuit, which claims that his reputation was damaged by an early morning IRS raid of his home in February 2012.
Judge Timothy Savage ruled in a decision issued on Wednesday that Fattah Jr.'s claim that the IRS damaged his reputation by tipping off Philadelphia Inquirer photographers that they were raiding his residence at the Ritz Carlton for financial documents can proceed.
"The allegations that an IRS official confirmed to news reporters that criminal investigators were at Fattah’s residence are sufficient to raise an inference that his information was disclosed," Judge Savage wrote. "One could reasonably infer from the allegations that the media showing up at Fattah’s residence before 7 a.m. was not fortuitous and was instead the result of advance notice."
Fattah Jr.'s claims that the IRS acted improperly by not contacting his lawyer before searching his home were rejected by the judge, as the raid was deemed to be part of a "criminal investigation" and not a "tax collection."
Fattah Jr. previously told Metro that he was trying to clear his name with this lawsuit, saying that he lost his job after the IRS raid, which highly publicized in the media.
Earlier this month, Fattah Jr. was indicted by the federal government on charges of alleged loan fraud related to that job, which charges Fattah Jr. has denied.
Those charges are still pending.