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Ex-aide to Rep. Fattah pleads guilty to fraud

A former advisor to Rep. Chaka FattahChaka FattahPhiladelphia Dem power broker indicted The year the party machines broke Jury convicts the son of Rep. Chaka Fattah MORE (D-Pa.) has pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge linked to illegal campaign activity.

Fattah called the development "disappointing" but denied any wrongdoing.

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Prosecutors say that Washington-based Thomas Lindenfeld was working for an unnamed elected official in Philadelphia's 2007 mayoral race when federal prosecutors say he conspired with the official to use federal grants to repay campaign debts owed to Lindenfeld’s company.

Lindenfeld worked for Fattah’s campaign during that race, which Fattah lost. Fattah won an 11th term in the House on Tuesday.

Fattah has in the past denied participating in illegal activity, and did so again in a statement issued Wednesday.

“In light of today’s news, it is disappointing that a second individual associated with me has pleaded guilty to wrongdoing. I spent today thanking the citizens of my district for their vote of confidence. Those citizens can be assured that as I previously stated, I have never been involved in any illegal conduct nor misappropriation of taxpayer funds,” he said.

The long-finished campaign for mayor has been embroiled in a scandal involving the repayment of a campaign loan. Prosecutors allege that Fattah used nonprofits he founded to channel federal money to repay campaign debts. That information is said to have emerged as part of a guilty plea by Greg Naylor, another aide.

Lindenfeld is a high school dropout — he later graduated from Princeton University — who has earned millions consulting on Democratic campaigns. He was once a business partner of David Axelrod, former White House senior adviser to President Obama.