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Tag: Tony Rezko

Blago Fundraiser Gets 10 1/2 Years for Extorting Millions

By Danny Fenster
ticklethwire.com

A top fundraiser and advisor to ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich got handed a stiff sentence Tuesday in Chicago federal court for extorting millions of dollars in exchange for regulatory approval or business.

Fundraiser  Antoin “Tony” Rezko was sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison — a sentence that prompted Rezko’s daughter to burst into tears, reports the Chicago Tribune. Judge Amy St. Eve told Rezko his “selfish and corrupt actions” have threatened people’s trust in government.

The tough sentence could be the preview as to what’s to come next month when none other than Blagojevich himself is sentenced.

Rezko has been in prison since his 2008 conviction, but the sentencing was delayed because federal prosecutors thought he may have needed to be called a witness at other key trials related to the probe of the Blagojevich administration, the Tribune reported.

US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald called the sentence “a wake-up call.”

“I don’t know how many times we’ve had sentences of 10 1/2 years” in public corruption cases, Fitzgerald said, according to the Tribune.

Which raises a question. As ticklethewire.com reported previously, some see the upcoming Blagojevich sentencing as a chance for Illinois to send a very strong, very pubic message against widespread corruption in local and state government. Could this be the stern warning, the “wake up call” that was needed? Would that mean a lighter sentence for Blagojevich? Or is this only the beginning of an overdue crackdown?

Blagojevich conducted an extensive media campaign covered by the national press before his guilty conviction. While most Chicagoans know the name Tony Rezko, he does not have the national profile that Rod Blagojevich does. A stiff Blago sentencing would surely send a stronger, or at least louder, message.

Only time will tell. Balgojevich’s sentencing is set for December.

To read more click here.

Convicted Financier Tony Rezko Could Hurt Illinois Governor

Gov. Blagojevich/official photo

Gov. Blagojevich/official photo

Tony Rezko could help the feds build their case against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. It’s likely the convicted felon is dishing up dirt on somebody.

BY NATASHA KORECKI
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — Federal prosecutors asked a judge Monday to indefinitely postpone Tony Rezko’s scheduled Oct. 28 sentencing on corruption charges, acknowledging they are engaged in talks with the former top political fund-raiser for Sen. Barack Obama, Gov. Blagojevich and others “that could affect . . . sentencing.”
The Chicago Sun-Times first reported in August that Rezko might be cooperating with prosecutors. Since then, the talks, and the prosecution’s efforts to confirm information Rezko has provided, have been an open secret. In September, sources close to the investigation confirmed the talks to the Sun-Times but said there was no deal with Rezko.
In court filings, prosecutors said they are in discussions with Tony Rezko, who was convicted of corruption charges.
The 53-year-old Wilmette businessman, who at one time was a top adviser to Blagojevich, was convicted in June of wide-ranging corruption tied to state deals. He could face a lengthy prison term and still faces two more criminal trials.
Several criminal-defense lawyers, who spoke to the Sun-Times only on the condition they not be named, said prosecutors have asked to interview or reinterview their clients about allegations that Blagojevich’s campaign took contributions in exchange for state contracts or appointments
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