Defense: Consider ex-congressman's good deeds in sentencing

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2016 12:29 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Lawyers for a former Pennsylvania congressman are asking a judge to consider his years of public service before sentencing him in a federal racketeering case.

Sixty-year-old Philadelphia Democrat Chaka (SHAH'-kuh) Fattah is being sentenced Monday for using government grants and charity funds on campaign and personal expenses.

In a court filing Thursday, his lawyers called the two-decade sentencing recommendation from prosecutors "unnecessarily harsh."

Prosecutors say many of Fattah's financial crimes stem from an illegal $1 million loan he took to fund his failed 2007 mayoral run.

His lawyers want the judge to consider Fattah's creation of educational charities that helped low-income students attend college.

Fattah served in Congress for 22 years and resigned after his June conviction. His son is serving a five-year prison term in an overlapping bank fraud case.