POLITICS

Rep. Chaka Fattah Pleads Not Guilty To Corruption Charges

The charges largely stem from his efforts to conceal and pay back an illegal $1 million loan from an unidentified Virginia businessman for his mayoral campaign, federal prosecutors said.

PHILADELPHIA, Aug 18 (Reuters) - U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to federal corruption charges related to the financing of his failed campaign in 2007 for mayor of Philadelphia.

The Democratic congressman, who has served in Congress since 1995, was arraigned on more than two dozen counts of racketeering, fraud, bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and falsification of records in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

He pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Timothy Rice.

The charges largely stem from his efforts to conceal and pay back an illegal $1 million loan from an unidentified Virginia businessman for his mayoral campaign, federal prosecutors said.

The congressman used money from federal grants and donations to help pay back the loan, according to federal prosecutors.

Other charges stem from his alleged use of campaign funds to pay off student loans for his son, while the bribery charges stem from Fattah's efforts to promote an aide, Herbert Vederman, for an ambassadorship or seat on the U.S. Trade Commission, they said. (Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Eric Walsh)

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