Yesterday, Congressman Chaka Fattah denied any wrong doing and has pledged to fight the alleged corruption charges that were laid out yesterday by the United States Attorney’s Office. Congressman Fattah was at work in Washington, D.C when the indictments were handed down. The Democratic Congressman stated that “”I’ve never been involved in any wrongdoing, any unlawful activity, and any misappropriation of federal funds. I’ve spent my time helping people. We’ve helped at least 25 million that we can count. I’m going to spend my time helping millions more. These are allegations and that the people involved in it are innocent until proven otherwise.”
In a statement that was released the Congressman explained that as he previously stated thaI have never participated in any illegal activity or misappropriation of taxpayer dollars as an elected official,” and that “This will not be a distraction from my service to the people that elected me, and I am confident that I will be cleared of these charges.”
The indictment that was handed down yesterday include 29 charges, which stem from his 2007 campaign for mayor of Philadelphia. The indictment states that Fattah and his co-conspirators were involved in racketeering because they allegedly “stealing charitable and federal grants, in order to repay $600, 000,” that was repaid to a political supporter who had donated a million dollars to the Fattah campaign for mayor. The indictment claims that Congressman Fattah used “campaign funds for personal for Fattah and his wife.” It is further alleged that Congressman Fattah conspired with one Herbert Vederman, a former deputy mayor of Philadelphia and aide in Fattah’s mayoral campaign for the purpose of Vederman to receive an appointment as an ambassadorial position or for appointment to the U.S. Trade Commission. In exchange for the possible appointment Vederman allegedly gave Fattah $18,000 and that Vederman helped get a visa for Fattah’s “live-in au pair” and gave her money for tuition. It is alleged that the Congressman and the former deputy mayor used Fattah’s own son as the go between in the exchanged of funds to give to the lawmakers, and helped pay part of the son’s tuition at Drexel University.
The indictment yesterday came almost a year after Fattah’s son, Chaka Fattah Jr., was indicted on charges of bank fraud theft. The younger Fattah also faces charges of filing false tax returns. He allegedly stole government money slated for city schools to pay personal expenses. The younger Fattah trial for those charges is set to start in mid-September.