Chaka Fattah, U.S. Representative of West Philadelphia and a 1986 Fels Institute of Government graduate, was convicted on Tuesday, June 21 in a federal racketeering case.
The verdict was announced after a four-week trial by a jury of nine women and three men. Fattah has been charged with bribery, racketeering, money laundering, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and filing false statements as part of a years-long criminal scheme that included Fattah lobbying for an appointment as an ambassador for one of his co-conspirators.
The conviction marks a dark end to the career of one of the region’s longest-serving members of Congress. In April’s Democratic primary, Fattah lost his bid for a 12th term to State Representative Dwight Evans. His current term ends Jan. 2, 2017.
In a statement released after his conviction, Fattah made no reference to leaving before his congressional term ends.
“Today’s decision notwithstanding, it has been my privilege to serve the constituents of the Second Congressional District for over 20 years,” Fattah said. “While today’s outcome isn’t what we had hoped, I respect our nation’s judicial system. I want to thank the people of the Second Congressional District for the honor of serving them.”
The jury convicted Fattah of all 23 charges. Four co-defendants were also convicted. Sentencing is set for Oct. 4, 2016, but he will remain free on bail. Fattah could face as long as 20 years behind bars on the bribery charge alone.
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