The long-awaited sentencing of former Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah was handed down Monday in his federal corruption case.
U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III, who presided over the case, sentenced Fattah to serve a 10-year prison term.
Fattah was found guilty in June of numerous charges, including bribery, racketeering, money laundering and several types of fraud.
Following his conviction, he announced his resignation from Congress.
Upon announcing Fattah’s sentence, Bartle said, “Those in high places will certainly know what happens in this courtroom today.”
He went on to say, “While you have done much good, you also engaged in grave and widespread criminal activity. You abused your trust, time and time again.”
After hearing his sentence, Fattah stood and addressed the judge, saying, “The investigation and the trial has been the most disappointing event in my now 60-year life. I’ve helped tens of millions of people and that has nothing to do with the fact that I have been found on the wrong side of these questions by a jury.”
Defense attorney Albert Dandridge turned to Fattah’s family and supporters in the courtroom and said, “That’s about as good as we could have expected.”
Prosecutors were seeking a sentence between 17 and 22 years for Fattah.
Fattah was ordered to present himself to the prison by Jan. 25, 2017.
As Fattah exited the courthouse, he briefly spoke with reporters.
He did not comment on the sentence, except to say, “We respect the court’s decision.”
Fattah also thanked his family, friends and staff for their support “through this very tough time.”
In February, Bartle sentenced Fattah’s son, Chaka Fattah Jr., to five years in prison for fraud and ordered him to pay $1.1 million in restitution to those he defrauded, including banks, clients and the Philadelphia School District.
When the younger Fattah said he didn’t know that anything he did was against the law, the judge responded, “Mr. Fattah, you had many opportunities and advantages that most young people could only dream about. You made a plethora of bad choices of your own free will.”
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