Chaka Fattah Jr.: Why I’m Fighting the IRS


Guest Commentary: Chaka Fattah Jr. is suing the IRS for $10 million. He is the President of 259 Strategies, LLC, and the son of Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.).

Thanks to the federal government ruining my life, I have had 30 months to spend time determining what will ultimately be the story of my life. After much reflection, I have come to a simple conclusion: My life story will be a good one.

In the past two weeks, a federal judge issued a ruling allowing my $10 million dollar lawsuit against the IRS to continue to trial. The lawsuit, Fattah v. United States, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in February 2014.

This coming after much hard work by both myself and an experienced lawyer, Christopher D. Belen, a tax division attorney who is representing the government in the civil action. Mr. Belen works at what political insiders refer to as Main Justice, the Washington D.C. office of the U.S. Department of Justice. While I can’t speak to the time Mr. Belen dedicated to this matter, I have personally reviewed over 2,000 pages of research using resources such as the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).

As a taxpayer, it’s ironic that some of my tax dollars are going to pay to defend cases such as this, where the government has clearly violated the fundamental principles espoused in the U.S. Constitution.

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Parents Sue Over Philadelphia School Conditions


Seven Philadelphia parents and the Parents United for Public Education group are suing over the conditions of Philadelphia’s public schools. The petitioners are represented by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.

In the suit, to be filed against acting Pennsylvania education secretary Carolyn Dumaresq, the parents say the state has failed in its constitutional mandate to “receive and investigate allegations of curriculum deficiencies.” Parents United says it delivered 825 complaints about school conditions to Dumaresq that were not followed up on.

Per the lawsuit, the allegations included “overcrowded classrooms, the lack of classes such as art, music, foreign language and physical education, cancelled programs for the mentally gifted, the absence of facilities such as libraries or school materials such as textbooks that resulted in loss of instruction for students, shortages of staff … and unsafe or unsanitary conditions that interfered with students’ ability to respond to the curriculum.”

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Lawsuit Filed in Philly Court Has New Abuse Allegations Against Jerry Sandusky


2012 AP Photo

2012 AP photo

Jerry Sandusky, Penn State and the second mile charity are facing yet another lawsuit (below) stemming from the child sex abuse scandal. Late last month, a lawyer for alleged victim “D.F.” filed suit. The lawyer, Bret J. Southard, told the Centre Daily Times his client’s lawsuit involves new allegations not previously brought forward when the scandal broke.

The lawsuit says that, in 2008 or 2009, Sandusky took D.F. on a shopping spree that also involved oral sex. The suit also says Sandusky raped the boy after Penn State’s football opener in 2008.

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Chaka Fattah Jr. Talks Gambling, His Congressman Dad, the IRS


It’s a crazy time to be Chaka Fattah Jr. He’s facing federal charges for tax evasion. He’s suing the IRS for $10 million (complaint below). And his dad, Congressman Chaka Fattah, is under investigation, too (as is his inner circle). We got the younger Fattah on the phone to talk about life, liberty and the pursuit of blackjack.

What is the status of your $10 million lawsuit against the IRS?

I am very happy to report that the court just issued a ruling allowing my case to proceed. The primary claim — which is a media leak to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Washington Times — the court allowed that claim to go to trial. What this means for me is that they will have to turn over discovery documents, and there will be a trial over this media leak. They damaged my reputation, and I am claiming that they owe me millions of dollars in damages.

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D.A. Defends Drug Forfeitures

We told you Tuesday about a lawsuit by three property owners against the city over its drug-forfeiture practices — seizing property suspected to be used in the drug trade and keeping it, regardless of whether any criminal convictions emerge from the case.

Late Tuesday, District Attorney Seth Williams‘ office released a defense of forfeiture in Philadelphia, saying the practice helps the city close down drug properties and improve the quality of life in surrounding communities. The Public Nuisance Task Force handles such forfeitures for prosecutors:

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Philadelphia Sued Over Civil Forfeiture Practices

An anti-civil forfeiture group and a civil rights law firm have teamed up to sue the city over its civil forfeiture practices. The Institute for Justice — the libertarian, anti-civil forfeiture group — has even set up a pretty-but-distracting website about the civil rights lawsuit and how civil forfeiture works in Philadelphia.

Criminal forfeiture happens when the government seizes assets after a person is convicted of a crime. Generally, it is a punitive act against the convicted offender. But civil forfeiture can happen in the absence of a criminal conviction — indeed, it can happen before a trial even takes place. In civil forfeiture, the government sues the property, alleging the item or items were gained due to illegal activity.

In 2011, the Institute of Justice writes on its site, Philadelphia filed 6,560 petitions to acquire the cash or property of city residents. Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located, filed 200 such petitions between 2008 and 2011.

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Dissed Doctor Sues Stephanie Stahl and CBS 3 for Libel

You know Stephanie Stahl. She’s the medical reporter and sometimes investigative reporter for CBS 3 in Philadelphia, the woman who mongers fear over the perils of buying prescription drugs without a doctor, the potential for an Ebola outbreak in Philadelphia, and doctors who allegedly implant cardiac stents into patients who don’t need them. Well, the last of those stories has her being hauled into Federal Court. Read more »

Donald Trump Sues to Get His Name Off Atlantic City Casinos


Donald Trump is in the news again, because Donald Trump is good about exploiting slow news periods to get his name in the press. Wait until this time next year, when he’s going on TV to talk about how he’s exploring a presidential bid. With the election still a bit too far away to start a run for president — okay, maybe not — Trump has turned his gaze back toward the town he’s associated with in name only now: Atlantic City.

There’s actually a much more interesting story here than Trump talking about politics or ebola: The Donald is suing the company that runs the two casinos bearing his name, demanding his name be taken off the properties. Trump Entertainment Resorts is a descendant of the company he founded in the 1980s; he holds a 10 percent stake in the it. The piece of the company he owns allows the two casinos to use his name.

In 2009, Trump said he was “not thrilled about” his name being on the casinos.

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