By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jury selection begins today in the trial of Chaka Fattah Junior. Prosecutors say he is a scam artist and tax cheat who has ripped off several investors and filed false tax returns in order to maintain a lavish lifestyle and pay gambling debts.

Despite the lack of formal legal training, Chaka Fattah Jr. is representing himself against seasoned federal prosecutors.

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They will be selecting a panel of jurors out of a pool of 96 potential candidates for a trial that is expected to last a few weeks.

One of Fattah Junior’s alleged victims is the Philadelphia School District. Prosecutors say the 33-year-old entrepreneur inflated invoices through his company that provided educational services.

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Fattah Junior is the son of congressman Chaka Fattah Sr. who is facing racketeering and corruption charges of his own.

The younger Fattah claims the federal case against him is simply an effort by the government to get to his father, and that he’s worked hard to build a successful business.

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