Federal prosecutors are reportedly seeking 17 to 21 years of prison time for former congressman Chaka Fattah, who was convicted in July on counts including participating in a racketeering conspiracy, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bribery, and falsification of records.
Fattah was found guilty of using federal funds to pay a political strategist and charitable donations to refund an illegal $1 million loan he used during his failed 2007 mayoral campaign, among other things. Also convicted were his three co-defendants: Robert Brand, Karen Nicholas, and Herbert Vederman, who were all found guilty of RICO and other charges.
Lawyers requested that U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III sentence Fattah to 17 to 21 years in jail, which is within the guideline range. In a court memo filed Monday, prosecutors called Fattah “self-serving” and said he “chose to violate the trust of his constituents and the taxpayers to line his pockets and advance his personal and professional goals at their expense,” according to the Inquirer.
Prosecutors are seeking more than $600,000 in restitution from Fattah and his co-defendants, NewsWorks reports. Fattah’s lawyers will likely file their own sentencing recommendation this week.
Fattah, who resigned in June, has long maintained his innocence, calling the charges an “eight-year effort by some in the Department of Justice to link my public service career to some form of wrongdoing.” He will be sentenced on Monday. His co-defendants also have hearings scheduled for next week.
Fattah represented Philadelphia’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House for 21 years. His son, Chaka “Chip” Fattah, was sentenced to five years in prison this past February, after he was found guilty of defrauding banks and the School District of Philadelphia.
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