Former representative Chaka Fattah sentenced to ten years in federal prison
Hey, Hillary: Here’s what normally happens to corrupt pols who divert charitable foundation donations to personal and political use. Why, I remember former Representative Chaka Fattah before he was consigned to the memory hole. He used to be a powerful Democrat in Congress, but now he’s a convict headed for a ten-year sentence to the federal pen. His crimes sound familiar to those of us who have been focused on the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation’s hiring of political aides to Hillary in off-years since her previous run for the presidency. CBS News reports:
A federal judge has sentenced Former Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah to 10 years behind bars on charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering.
Earlier this year, Fattah, 60, was convicted of misspending government grants and charity money to fund his campaign and personal expenses, even as he and his TV anchor wife earned more than $500,000 a year.
U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle called the Philadelphia Democrat’s crimes “astonishing” given that he and his wife had an annual income that put them at or near the “top 1 percent.”
Fattah, who changed to an African-sounding name from his birth name, Arthur Davenport, is maintaining:
“I’ve helped tens of millions of people,” Fattah said. “(That) has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been found on the wrong side of these questions by a jury.”
Fattah’s claim to have “helped tens of millions” of people apparently rests on his votes to spend taxpayers’ money on programs such as GEAR UP, which helps prepare students for college, presumably because their schools have utterly failed them, while taking care of the teachers union members who donate lavishly to the Democratic Party. Helping “tens of millions” by freeing them from the grip of the unions that care about dues-paying members but have noticed that the kids pay no dues to them was always off the table.
Nor does Fattah appear to have undergone a period of intense personal reflection on his failings:
A jury this year found that Fattah took an illegal $1 million loan from a wealthy friend to prop up his failed 2007 campaign for Philadelphia mayor. He then repaid some of it with federal grant money from NASA that he had steered to an education nonprofit run by loyal former staffers.
The nonprofit efforts — including a NASA-funded mobile science classroom emblazoned with Fattah’s name that roamed Philadelphia during the mayoral campaign — helped promote Fattah’s political career, prosecutors said in their sentencing memo.
The jury convicted him of leading a five-person racketeering enterprise that included the loyal aides and political consultants who did his bidding, comingling campaign, nonprofit and government funds and using them as directed for Fattah’s personal and political needs.
For example, Fattah used $23,000 in nonprofit funds to repay his son’s college loans and took an $18,000 bribe to try to help a friend become an ambassador. He even lobbied President Barack Obama on the friend’s behalf, to no avail. Fattah and his wife used the $18,000 for a down payment on a Poconos vacation home. They told authorities the money covered the friend’s purchase of a Porsche owned by Fattah’s wife, but the Porsche never left their garage.
“For someone so interested in advancing education for the disadvantaged, you had the temerity to steal from the Educational Advancement Alliance, a nonprofit supported by government funds,” Bartle said.
The judge said it was equally “astonishing” that Fattah would steal money to cover his son’s debts, to pay taxes and to buy a family vacation home.
Hmm...a politician already rich beyond the dreams of ordinary Americans, but still so greedy that charitable donations are diverted to luxuries and political uses. Sounds awfully familiar.
Double standards, anyone?