Philadelphia Representative Chaka Fattah Indicted On Corruption Charges

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah Sr. was indicted on charges of political corruption July 29. Fattah, whose district includes part of Philadelphia, is accused of a being involved in a web of conspiracy, including bribery, the illegal use of campaign contributions and theft of charity money, NPR reported.

The charges stem from Fattah’s failed bid to become the mayor of Philadelphia in 2007. Through the course of an investigation into his fundraising in 2014, the U.S. Justice Department determined about half of the $771,000 in federal funds from earmarks Fattah obtained went to a local nonprofit. The nonprofit had one staff member — a former member of Fattah’s congressional staff, The Washington Post reported.

According to the indictment, Fattah and his colleagues allegedly borrowed $1 million from a supporter, but when Fattah lost the mayoral election, they only returned an unused $400,000 and their nonprofit paid out the remaining money. 

The charity Fattah ran, Educational Advancement Alliance, was supposed to help at-risk youth receive federal grants for higher education. Fattah and his colleagues are accused of creating fake contracts and falsifying their financial reports to conceal payouts. 

Fattah is also accused of misusing campaign funds to repay his son’s $23,000 student loan debt. He also allegedly tried to pay back his supporters by offering them federal grants.

The congressman has yet to release a statement on the 29-count indictment he’s currently facing.

Sources: NPR, The Washington Post Photo credit: Center For American Progress/Flickr