Typo Won’t Tank Charges Against Politician’s Son

     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – The son of a U.S. congressman cannot use the correction of a typo to overturn a 23-count indictment against him, a federal judge ruled.
     It’s been nearly a year since a grand jury returned an indictment charging Chaka Fattah Jr., the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, with defrauding banks, the Internal Revenue Service and the School District of Philadelphia.
     Fattah Jr., whose Democrat father represents most of Philadelphia, moved to dismiss the superseding indictment last month under the Fifth Amendment, complaining that prosecutors violated the grand-jury clause by seeking permission to correct clerical errors in two of the counts “after the superseding indictment was returned and before it was filed.”
     The original version of Count IV mentioned Nov. 7, 2005, as the date Fattah Jr. lied to Bank of America, but a grand juror flagged this as contradicting other materials.
     A prosecutor agreed that the date should have been Nov. 16, 2005, and received the grand jury’s permission to substitute the page with this information.
     Apparently the prosecutor then noticed typos in Count V then, and mentioned correcting those issues as well, but never did.
     U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle found Thursday that Fattah Jr.’s argument about the grand-jury clause “has no basis in fact.”
     “In this matter … the grand jury specifically approved the amendment, that is the change in date, contained in Count Four of the superseding indictment,” he wrote. “The charges against Fattah were all presented and approved by the grand jury and are set forth in the superseding indictment. Fattah’s position is not only without merit but contrary to the Supreme Court’s analysis.”
     The six-page decision notes that Fattah Jr. also filed the motion in question a week past the deadline.
     In a previous unsuccessful challenge to one of the counts against him, Fattah Jr. had tried to excuse allegedly unreported income by saying his tax form had no line on which to report it.
     Three weeks after the July 29, 2014, indictment of Fattah Jr., federal prosecutors nabbed a guilty plea from Congressman Fattah’s longtime aide, Gregory Naylor, to concealing the misuse of $622,000 in campaign contributions and federal grant funds.

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