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

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 8, 2016 11:39 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., walks after leaving the federal courthouse in Philadelphia, Tuesday, June 21, 2016.

(Philadelphia) -- 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 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.

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