Former Democratic Congressman Chaka Fattah Sentenced to Decade in Prison
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah was sentenced to ten years in federal prison Monday after a judge found him guilty on charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering.
Fattah was found guilty of misspending government funds and charity money to fund his campaign and cover his personal expenses, while he and his wife Renee Chenault-Fattah, a former TV anchor, earned more than $500,000 a year.
The former congressman is expected to appeal the conviction, which he had said was politically motivated. While his sentence is shorter than the 17 to 21 years recommended by prosecutors, it is one of the longest prison sentences that any member of Congress has ever received.
The charges stem from a $1 million illegal loan that Fattah took from a wealthy friend to fund his ailing 2007 campaign for Philadelphia mayor and repaid a portion of it with government funds and money given to an education charity that was run by his staffers.
Fattah called his conviction “the most disappointing event” of his life, according to The Philly Voice and urged the judge to have leniency on others involved.
“I have regrets for the decisions that I’ve made,” Fattah said Monday. “My words of regret are as real as my words of gratefulness.”
Fattah resigned from Congress back in June after he was convicted on 23 federal corruption charges.
The Democrat has served in Congress since 1995, where he represented Pennsylvania’s 2nd district.