Veteran Pennsylvania Congressman Ran White Collar Crime Ring
A long-time congressman from Pennsylvania is accused of running a white collar crime ring that stretched between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Representative Chaka Fattah, who has served 11 years in the House of Representatives as a Democrat from Philadelphia, was accused of taking out an illegal campaign loan worth $1 million from a friend to fund a mayoral campaign in 2007. He then reportedly used federal grant money to pay off most of that debt.
The prosecuting attorney, Department of Justice attorney Jonathan Kravis, said Fatah also used funds from nonprofit organizations to enrich family members and friends. Fattah was convicted of fraud in late June, and he also resigned his seat in Congress at about the same time.
Defense attorneys allege conspiracy
Fattah’s defense attorneys claimed the plots were not created by Fattah, but by two political consultants who have already pleaded guilty in the case and pointed fingers at the former congressman in their testimony. Although the defense acknowledges Fattah had financial troubles after his failed mayoral campaign, his attorneys say that all of the loans taken out from friends were completely legal.
Fattah lost his re-election race in the April primary, with allegations swirling in the news media, and was expected to serve out the rest of his term until January 2017.
White collar crime comprises a wide variety of offenses, including fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. Individuals who are charged with these types of crimes face some potentially significant penalties, depending on the severity of the offenses in question.
For further guidance on defending yourself when charged with a white collar crime, contact trusted Reading criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.