U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah from Pennsylvania – a superdelegate for Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – was just found guilty of “racketeering, bribery, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, and falsification of records, among other charges,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The 59-year-old Pennsylvania Congressman Clinton superdelegate was found guilty Tuesday on over two dozen corruption charges, stemming from financial dealings during his failed 2007 campaign for Philadelphia mayor. He now faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in jail.
Fattah was popular at the beginning of his mayoral campaign in 2007, but in the middle of the race, he lost support and money. With his campaign strapped for cash, a longtime friend gave Fattah $1 million. Since that far exceeded the $5,000 cap for political donations, the $1 million had to come in the form of a personal loan. Fattah had to use several other channels – consulting firms and non-profit organizations – to access the money covertly in order to pay off campaign debt pertaining to TV ads and campaign workers.
Then, through similar channels, he repaid some of the $1 million loan, even using federal grant money from his own Educational Advancement Alliance (EAA) – a non-profit organization Fattah founded that grants scholarships and is “backed by millions of dollars in congressional earmarks,” according to Philly.com. Through fake contracts, he was able to funnel money from the EAA to two for-profit companies. Philly.com reported:
Prosecutors say neither company did any work to earn that government money. Even as Department of Justice auditors began to question how EAA had spent its grant money in late 2008, the strategist’s firm was wiring it to pay back Fattah’s original $1 million campaign debt.
Tax forms show that EAA paid Broad Street-based Solutions for Progress $613,500 for “consulting” in the 2007-08 fiscal year.
It was also revealed that Fattah diverted $22,000 from his campaign strategist’s firm to help pay off his son Chaka, Jr.’s college loan debt.