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Sunday, December 10, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Congressman’s Son Gets 5 Years for Tax Fraud

PHILADELPHIA (CN) - Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr. - son of the indicted congressman whose name he shares - was sentenced to 60 months in prison on Tuesday for tax fraud.

Fattah Jr., 34, was convicted on 22 of 23 counts last November. Jurors found that he lied to banks to receive loans, defrauded the School District of Philadelphia of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and ran a phony consulting firm to cover gambling debts and feed other expensive tastes.

The Philadelphia man proceeded without an attorney at trial, trying to portray himself as a legitimate member of the city's political community.

He called in both former Mayor John Street and former Gov. Ed Rendell to testify that he had taken pictures for both of them while trying to start up a small photography practice.

Prosecutors focused on Fattah Jr.'s ostentatious lifestyle and his gambling debts that reached into the tens of thousands of dollars. At one point, government cross-examination dissected the costs of lamb chops and sea bass at an expensive buffet during a party he hosted.

Through his consulting company, Fattah Jr. drew $450,000 from beleaguered Philadelphia schools at a time the district was closing dozens of sites and laying off thousands of teachers.

In addition to five years in prison, Judge Harvey Bartle III ordered Fattah Jr. to pay $1.2 million in restitution, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Fattah Jr.'s father, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, was indicted last August on charges of bank fraud, misappropriating government funds and misusing campaign money.

The Democratic congressman awaits trial after the Third Circuit ruled in September that the government can subpoena his Gmail records.

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