US & Canada

US congressman Chaka Fattah convicted on corruption charges

Chaka Fattah Image copyright AP
Image caption Chaka Fattah used election funds to pay off his son's student debt

Veteran US congressman Chaka Fattah has been convicted of multiple frauds which prosecutors said were aimed at enriching himself and preserving his political career.

Fattah, 59, was found guilty on 23 counts including racketeering, fraud and money laundering.

His lawyers said the schemes were run without his knowledge by two political consultants who had pleaded guilty.

Fattah, from the Democratic Party, will be sentenced on 4 October.

The 59-year-old, who has represented West Philadelphia in Congress for two decades, is one of the most senior black lawmakers in Congress.

In one case, he is said to have used cash raised for an election campaign to pay off some of his son's student debt.

Prosecutors also said he disguised a lobbyist's bribe as payment for a car he never sold.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has said the charges against Fattah were "deeply saddening".

Four of his associates were also charged, prosecutors said.

Fattah's son, Chaka Fattah Jr, is already serving a five-year term in an overlapping fraud case related to loans associated with a business he ran.

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