In a letter forwarded to NBC 10 Thursday morning, Renee Chenault-Fattah wrote in reference to the sale of her 1989 Porsche Carrera convertible, “both the indictment and media accounts are incorrect.” Chenault-Fattah is not named or charged in the case but is identified as the congressman's wife, "Person E" and an "affiliate of the Fattah enterprise" in the federal indictment filed against her husband, Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa) and four others on charges including racketeering, bribery and wire fraud.
According to the indictment, Chenault-Fattah, her husband, lobbyist Herbert Vederman and Fattah’s Congressional District Director Bonnie Bowser “falsified records, including a bill of sale and paperwork related to the vehicle’s title, in order to document the “sale”…”
Authorities said the scheme had the Fattahs pretending to sell the Porsche to Vederman for $18,000. The indictment states that money was used to help pay closing costs for the Fattahs’ $425,000 vacation home in the Poconos.
The Federal government says the sale was phony and the Fattahs never actually sold the car. According to the indictment, Chenault-Fattah continued to register the car in her name, pay for vehicle service and pay for the insurance.
In her letter, Chenault-Fattah writes, “…we starting (sic) purchasing a home in the Poconos in the winter of 2011. Two weeks before the close, the mortgage said a new law went into effect (this was Jan of 2012) and we were required to put $18,000 in reserve. It could not be a gift or a loan.
Knowing this and not having an extra $18,000, I decided to sell my second car- a Porsche. A family friend agreed to buy it last minute and we sold the car for its blue book value...a bill of sale and transfer of title were conveyed to the friend.”
In the letter, Chenault-Fattah goes on to explain why the car remains at the Fattahs’ Philadelphia home. “…the car stayed at our house (we have 3 garages and the friend lives in a apartment) , for a time I continued with insuring it since it was in our garage and wanted nothing to happen to it,
and I had it towed to be serviced in the spring because I wanted it to be in good shape for the friend since this transaction had happened so hastily in the dead of winter. It has remained undriven in our garage for 3 years now because on advice of counsel.... we were instructed to do nothing with the car.”
She added, “I know this was a legitimate sale but this not likely to go away anytime soon.”
Chenault-Fattah, who isn’t facing any charges, is currently on leave from NBC 10.