Chaka Fattah Jr., son of United States Congressman Chaka Fattah and stepson of prominent NBC10 anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah, turned himself in to federal authorities on Tuesday morning. He has been charged with, in part, making false statements to banks to obtain loans, filing false income tax returns, failing to pay federal taxes, and stealing from the Philadelphia School District, according to an unsealed indictment in the case.
Here’s what the U.S. Attorney alleges in its indictment:
• Fattah Jr. falsely obtained business lines of credit from banks and used that money to pay gambling debts, buy jewelry, make car payments, and pay for utilities, clothing, and electronics, among other things. One loan in particular — a $50,000 loan from United Bank — was allegedly used to pay more than $33,000 in gambling debts at casinos. The indictment also claims that Fattah wrote a $17,500 check from a business account to cover gambling debts at Sugarhouse.
• He tried to settle debts with banks for less than what was owed, claiming that his company in question, 259 Strategies, was out of business, when in fact he was earning between $6,250 and $37,500 per month through that company, according to the government.
• He stole funds provided by the federal government to the School District of Philadelphia and then concealed that theft.
• He filed false income tax returns for 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.
Fattah Jr. had been under investigation for more than two years.
In February 2012, the FBI removed subpoenaed documents from his home at the Ritz-Carlton on Broad Street. Their investigation reportedly involved whether Fattah Jr. landed big-ticket contracts thanks to his father’s position. The feds have been taking a close look at the younger Fattah’s finances.
Back in July 2013, a source close to the investigation told Philadelphia magazine that an indictment against Fattah Jr. was imminent. One year later, it looks like his time is up.
On Tuesday morning in front of the Federal Courthouse, Fattah Jr. told Action News that he has done nothing wrong. In March, Fattah Jr. filed a $10 million lawsuit against the IRS claiming that the agency has ruined his ability to make a living in Philadelphia.
According to the U.S. Attorney, Fattah Jr. could face a “substantial term of imprisonment” as well as fines of more than $13 million.
Below, the full indictment.
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