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Closing arguments underway in congressman's corruption trial (updated)

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 13, 2016 11:58 AM
chaka_fattah3.jpg

(Philadelphia)_Defense lawyers for a Pennsylvania congressman on trial in Philadelphia accuse the Justice Department of smearing a long-time public servant through the racketeering case.

Closing arguments are underway in the monthlong trial of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and four co-defendants.
Defense lawyer Samuel Silver says Fattah may have had financial problems.

But he says the money a friend spent on his children's nanny, his wife's Porsche and their Poconos vacation home was not part of a bribery scheme.

Silver says the prosecution is fueled by two Fattah consultants who pleaded guilty and hope to get a break for testifying against Fattah.

The political consultants admit they helped carry out an illegal $1 million loan scheme during Fattah's 2007 mayoral campaign.

Earlier stories are below.

(Philadelphia) -- Federal prosecutors say a veteran congressman on trial in a racketeering case led a "white-collar crime spree'' that stretched from Philadelphia to Washington.

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah's monthlong corruption trial is nearing an end with closing arguments Monday from Justice Department lawyer Jonathan Kravis.

The 11-term Philadelphia Democrat is accused of taking an illegal $1 million campaign loan to help pay for his failed 2007 mayoral bid.

Prosecutors say he also used federal grants and nonprofit funds to enrich his family and friends.

Defense lawyers say Fattah's former political consultants devised the schemes. Two have pleaded not guilty and testified against him.

Fattah's lawyers are expected to make closing arguments later in the day.

Fattah lost his bid for re-election in the April primary.

An earlier story is below:

Closing arguments are underway in the federal corruption trial of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and four co-defendants.

The 11-term Philadelphia Democrat is accused of taking an illegal $1 million campaign loan from a friend to help pay for his failed mayoral bid.

Prosecutors say he also used federal grants and nonprofit funds to enrich his family and friends.

Defense lawyers say Fattah's former political consultants are responsible for the financial wrongdoing. Two have pleaded not guilty and testified against the congressman.

The $1 million loan came from Albert Lord, the former CEO for Sallie Mae.

Fattah's son is serving a five-year prison term in a related case. His co-defendants include Herbert Vederman, a former deputy mayor of Philadelphia.

Fattah lost his bid for re-election in the April Democratic primary.

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