State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell (D-PA) was charged Wednesday for allegedly stealing more than $500,000 from a nonprofit organization she founded to serve the mentally ill and those battling addiction.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed the charges against Johnson-Harrell which include accusations of perjury and theft, according to ABC 6.
The Democrat, who was also the first Muslim woman elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, reportedly took the funds from the Motivations Education & Consultation Associates (MECA) and spent it on luxury items such as multiple fox fur coats, according to the Daily Wire.
“When corruption erodes the trust that is built between governmental entities and citizens, no one wins,” Shapiro said in a statement Wednesday. “I’ve said time and time again as Attorney General that no one is above the law, no matter their position of power. And today is no different.”
Representative Johnson-Harrell continuously diverted Medicaid and social security disability funds from her charity to help Philadelphia’s most vulnerable communities for her own personal use. She spent almost $15,000 on clothing, including online shopping sprees at Ralph Lauren and fox fur coats. She traveled to Mexico, Orlando, Georgia and Maryland on lavish trips costing $16,000 of MECA funds. She spent $2,000 on overdue car payments on her Porsche. Another $4,000 on tuition for a relative. And, she spent almost $20,000 on overdue mortgage payments.
Resident Dinah Harrington of West Philadelphia said she was shocked to learn of the indictment against Johnson-Harrell.
“I seen her a lot on TV, they spoke great things about her…it is very sad to hear about that and I hope things get much better for her and her family,” she commented.
Shapiro also alleged that while the Democrat was illegally spending the nonprofit’s money, the residential homes she opened for those with serious medical needs were forced to shutter their doors due to “uninhabitable conditions.”
“While Johnson-Harrell was lining her pockets with MECA funds, MECA’s residents were living in squalor,” he noted.
The 53-year-old was sworn into office in March after she won a special election in the 190th District. Johnson-Harrell replaced her predecessor, Vanessa Lowery Brown, who resigned amid a bribery scandal, according to ABC 6.