Elsewhere online
December 01, 2014

FBI Eyeing $3.3-Million in Earmarks to Philadelphia Charity

The FBI is looking into what happened to millions of taxpayer dollars an influential Pennsylvania congressman steered to a nonprofit run by former members of his staff, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. Investigators are examining spending by the now-defunct Education Advancement Alliance on a project to turn a former apartment building into a center for needy schoolchildren to study math, science, and technology.

Representative Chaka Fattah, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee who was elected last month to an 11th term, has helped direct $3.3-million in earmarks to the alliance since 2005. The charity's latest tax filing, from December 2013, reported net liabilities of $1.1-million. A for-profit contractor hired to renovate the former apartment house said it has not been paid for nearly $700,000 in work and took possession of the building two months ago.

The alliance has been at the center of a federal probe into use of taxpayer funds by nonprofits with ties to Mr. Fattah. The Democratic congressman said his office does not monitor how the charities use federal money.