William Cellini trial defense grills Stuart Levine, Acts of dishonesty, FBI recordings, Where is Tony Rezko?

William Cellini trial defense grills Stuart Levine, Acts of dishonesty, FBI recordings, Where is Tony Rezko?

“Why was Tony Rezko’s sentencing delayed?”…Citizen Wells

From the Chicago Tribune October 15, 2011.

 “Witness against Cellini grilled by defense
Prosecutors play more damaging recordings”

“When it came his time late Friday afternoon to begin cross-examining the government’s star witness, Springfield power broker William Cellini’s lawyer wasted no time going after Stuart Levine, a deeply flawed man with decades of wrongdoing in his past.

“Let me start by asking you about your credibility as a witness,” said Dan Webb, Cellini’s lawyer. “Is that OK with you?”

Webb then hit Levine with a barrage of questions about how much money he stole, how many institutions he cheated and how he felt about it all.

Levine paused long and often in his answers.

He had no answer when Webb asked how many “acts of dishonesty” he had engaged in.

“I’ll take an estimate,” Webb shot back, asking whether it was a number “over 500.”

Levine answered that he didn’t know how to “quantify it.”

“Is it fair to say there has been so many you can’t give an estimate of a total?” Webb then asked.

Webb’s cross-examination lasted about an hour before court adjourned for the weekend and will continue next week.

Earlier Friday, prosecutors wrapped up their questioning of Levine while playing for the jury some of the most potentially damaging undercover recordings involving Cellini.

Cellini is charged with trying to extort from a Hollywood producer who did substantial business with the state a $1.5 million contribution to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s campaign.

Cellini, whose investment company had made millions of dollars from the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System, is alleged to have agreed to work with Levine, a board member at TRS, and Blagojevich advisers Antoin “Tony” Rezko and Christopher Kelly as a way to protect his access at the pension board.

In recordings played Friday, Levine and Cellini discussed how to deal with the failing plot to extort producer Thomas Rosenberg, who threatened to go to law enforcement. The conversations revealed a separate problem for Cellini — his concern that Rezko and Kelly were too obvious in their corruption and already under investigation.

In a recorded telephone call with Levine on May 8, 2004, Cellini recounted advice he had given Kelly after finding him “beside himself sittin’ on the couch.”

“If somebody comes in with badges and flashes them at you and in the course of the conversation says do you know Bill Cellini, just know before they ask that question that they have already checked all your phone logs and they know that we have talked on the phone,” Cellini said.

Some jurors’ eyes widened and one turned her gaze directly on Cellini at that moment.”

Read more:


Chicago SunTimes Natasha Korecki Twitter updates from the courtroom.
“Levine says with Cellini on speaker phone, he, Kelly and Rezko decide it’s too “dangerous” to demand a bribe from Rosenberg.”

“Next call between Levine and Cellini ends: “I do love you, Bill,” Levine says. “I love you too, Stu,” Cellini says.”

“Prosecution ends its questioning of Stuart Levine.”

“Webb to Levine: “a large part of your adult life was committed to doing dishonesty acts?” Levine says no.”

“Long pause in courtroom as Levine tries to count the # organizations he’s cheated over last 40 years. He comes up w/5.”

“After Levine tells us about ripping off numerous charities for millions of $$$, Cellini trial breaks for wknd.”

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