Will Chip Fattah cooperate with the feds?

Posted: August 07, 2014

NO ONE EVER claimed that Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr. was a genius - except, perhaps, Chip himself.

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see," reads Fattah Jr.'s Instagram profile, quoting German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer.

Maybe Fattah Jr., 31, was a genius at making money, but it turns out he was a target, too. He was indicted yesterday for allegedly defrauding several banks and the Philadelphia School District out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Federal prosecutors must be salivating, having finally ensnared the hashtag-happy son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, a 10-term congressman whom they've been investigating for at least seven years.

Chip loves to talk. Even without the encouragement of the 23-count indictment now hanging over his head.

After the FBI raided his apartment at the Ritz-Carlton in 2012, Fattah Jr. called the Daily News, claiming to be an anonymous source with dirt on the politically connected lawyer who was caught up in the probe and paying his firm big bucks. One problem: He forgot to block his phone number.

Even as the feds scrutinized his finances, Fattah Jr. chronicled his lavish lifestyle on Instagram:

Lamborghinis and Ferraris. Top-shelf liquor. Casinos. Champagne and rock shrimp. Hanging with Councilman Curtis Jones and Sean "Diddy" Combs. Photos of his American Express cards (you're welcome, identity thieves). And hashtags galore: #ritz #steak #casino #jackpot #fourseasons #champagne #platinumcard #fastcars #fastlifestyle.

But what does Fattah Jr. actually do?

He's been described as a political consultant, business development director, marketing specialist, businessman and opinion writer. He once owned a concierge service for wealthy clients.

Fattah Jr. never graduated from college, but a for-profit education company that received millions from the Philadelphia School District once paid one of Fattah Jr.'s companies $450,000 to satisfy the district's requirement that 10 percent of its annual contract go to a minority-owned firm.

Mikel Jones, a former Philadelphia lawyer serving federal prison time for defrauding a New York venture-capital fund, has told FBI agents that he gave $90,000 to Fattah Jr.'s companies but that he didn't know what Fattah Jr. actually did.

Fattah Jr.'s Instagram account is equally vague. Under a #nofilter photo of his dinner at Pod in University City in November, he described himself as a "management consultant" who helps "businesses solve complex problems."

"For a fee," he wrote.

Last year, former Gov. Ed Rendell and former Mayor W. Wilson Goode began raising money to help pay for Fattah Jr.'s mounting legal bills. Rendell said the congressman had asked for his assistance.

Goode said yesterday that he made a contribution to the fund, but hadn't been involved with it since spring 2013.

"I've known Chip since he was a baby," Goode said.

But, Goode added, he doesn't know what Fattah Jr. does for a living.

"I don't know anything personally about him," he said.


On Twitter: @wbender99

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