Dem Congressman Indicted For Alleged Role in Large Criminal Conspiracy

Chaka Fattah
Chaka Fattah / AP

The Justice Department indicted Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) for his alleged role in a vast criminal conspiracy that includes charges of fraud, bribery, and money laundering.

Authorities charge that Fattah accepted an illegal $1 million loan for his unsuccessful run for mayor of Philadelphia in 2007. After losing the race, the indictment alleges, he arranged a complex scheme to repay the donor through fraudulent grants made from his nonprofit, the Educational Advancement Alliance, and laundered through a number of shell companies.

The indictment also alleges that Fattah used campaign funds to repay his son’s student loans, accepted bribes from a lobbyist in exchange for efforts to get him appointed to an ambassadorship or another federal post, and engaged in an "elaborate cover-up" to conceal his crimes.

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Justice Department officials were unsparing in their comments about the case, announced on Wednesday in a DOJ press release.

"The public expects their elected officials to act with honesty and integrity," said U.S. Attorney Memeger.  "By misusing campaign funds, misappropriating government funds, accepting bribes, and committing bank fraud, as alleged in the Indictment, Congressman Fattah and his co-conspirators have betrayed the public trust and undermined faith in government."

"These crimes and the subsequent elaborate cover-up constitute an egregious breach of public trust," said Special Agent in Charge Hanko.  "It is the duty of the FBI, IRS and Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute those who violate this trust and put personal gain above public service."

"Public corruption by our elected officials and their associates undermines the American public’s confidence in our government," said Special Agent in Charge Conner.  "When our elected officials and their associates violate the law and create sophisticated financial schemes to enrich themselves, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, will work diligently with our fellow law enforcement partners to restore the public’s trust."