Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dem congressman from Philly indicted on racketeering charges

Illinois isn't the only state with congressmen who find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah of using his campaign coffers, charities he created, and federal grant funds he controlled to bankroll a failed 2007 Philadelphia mayoral bid, and line the pockets of family members and close political allies.

The 11-term Democratic congressman, who holds a seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee, was charged in a 29-count racketeering conspiracy indictment that alleges he channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off an illegal $1 million campaign loan as well as the college debts of son Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr.

In addition, federal authorities said, Fattah, 58, accepted bribes including stacks of cash, payments toward a Poconos vacation home, and college tuition for an au pair from a lobbyist seeking his help to land an ambassadorship with the Obama White House.

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