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Pennsylvania US Rep. Fattah indicted in racketeering case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A longtime Philadelphia congressman was indicted Wednesday in a racketeering case stemming from the alleged misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal, charitable and campaign funds after his failed 2007 run for mayor.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, 58, and four associates were charged with bribery; conspiracy to commit wire, honest services, bank and mail fraud; money laundering and other charges.

Prosecutors said the charges covered several schemes, including the use of federal grants and charitable contributions to Fattah’s educational foundation to pay back part of a $1 million loan from a wealthy campaign supporter and arranging a federal grant in lieu of a $130,000 payment to a political consultant.

“The public does not expect their elected officials to misuse campaign funds, misappropriate government funds, accept bribes or commit bank fraud,” U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger said. “These type of criminal acts betray the public trust and undermine faith in government.”

Fattah’s office had no immediate comment on the charges. It said it would issue a statement later Wednesday. The 11-term congressman remains free pending a yet-unscheduled court date.

Fattah has been the subject of a long-running federal investigation.

The others charged include Fattah’s congressional district director, Bonnie Bowser, and Palm Beach, Florida, lobbyist Herbert Vederman.

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