Chaka Fattah Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

Former Pennsylvania congressman convicted of corruption

Former Pennsylvania Rep. Chaka Fattah resigned from Congress after he was convicted on corruption and racketeering charges. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Pennsylvania Rep. Chaka Fattah was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on Monday following a corruption trial that centered around a failed bid for mayor of Philadelphia, The Inquirer reported.

Prosecutors had asked Philadelphia federal Judge Harvey Bartle to sentence Fattah to 17 to 22 years, but defense attorneys called the recommendation “unnecessarily harsh.”

Fattah, 60, had been charged in a 29-count indictment with racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of a probe launched by the IRS and FBI in March 2013.  

The case centered around a $1 million campaign loan to a 2007 mayoral bid that prosecutors said was paid back illegally.

A jury returned the verdict against Fattah following a four-week trial. Three others were also convicted.  

Fattah will begin his prison term Jan. 25.

At the sentencing hearing Monday, Fattah said he had helped millions of people during his career in public service but that he regretted some decisions he had made, the Inquirer reported.

During the trial, prosecutors said the Pennsylvania Democrat took bribes and stole charitable donations and campaign contributions as well as misused federal grant money under his control while he served on the Appropriations Committee.

Fattah's attorneys had asked that his conviction be overturned considering the pivotal Supreme Court case that vacated the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell. A judge threw out some charges against Fattah but largely disagreed with the argument.

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