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.