Blagojevich retrial, Rezko Levine et al waiting sentencing, Citizen Wells open thread, August 23, 2010

Blagojevich retrial, Rezko Levine et al waiting sentencing

From the Chicago tribune, a list of Blagojevich trial potential witnesses waiting on sentencing.

“–Antoin “Tony” Rezko: Former fundraiser for Blagojevich and Barack Obama and key adviser to Blagojevich, convicted in June 2008 of fraud, money laundering and bribery for scheming to make millions of dollars by squeezing campaign contributions or kickbacks from firms seeking business with the Teachers Retirement System and Health Facilities Planning Board. On the witness list for Blagojevich’s trial, but did not testify, and is awaiting sentencing. Still faces charges of fraudulently obtaining a $10.5 million business loan.

–Stuart Levine: Millionaire attorney and longtime Republican donor. Pleaded guilty in October 2006 to fraud and money laundering in the Rezko schemes and was the government’s top witness against Rezko. Member of both the TRS and health planning boards, reappointed by Blagojevich to both. Testified that Blagojevich told him, “Stick with us and you will do very well for yourself.” Awaiting sentencing. Faced life in prison but could get 5 1/2 years for cooperating.

–William Cellini: Longtime Republican fundraiser in Springfield who did business with TRS. Was indicted with Blagojevich on charges of fraud and extortion conspiracy and attempted extortion in connection with a plan to block a Hollywood producer’s real estate investment company from getting $220 million in teachers pension money to invest unless the producer contributed to Blagojevich. Pleaded not guilty in November 2008, got his case separated from Blagojevich’s last fall and has not had a trial date set.

–Alonzo “Lon” Monk: Blagojevich’s law school roommate, gave up a career as a sports agent to join Blagojevich and was the governor’s first chief of staff and campaign manager. Pleaded guilty in October 2009 to one count of wire fraud for attempting to squeeze a racetrack owner for a $100,000 campaign contribution. Testified at Blagojevich’s trial that the two of them, Kelly and Rezko discussed ways to make money through state government connections. Has yet to be sentenced. He faced 37 to 46 months in prison but could get 24 months because he cooperated.

–John Harris: Blagojevich’s chief of staff from late 2005 until his arrest in December 2008, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Testified that Blagojevich sent word to the Obama administration that he would appoint one of the president-elect’s close friends to Obama’s vacated Senate seat if Blagojevich got a cabinet post in Washington. Has yet to be sentenced, but prosecutors have promised to urge a maximum 35-month term.

–Ali Ata: Rezko associate who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about Rezko’s role in getting him his job as executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority. Testified he was at a meeting in 2003 when Ata gave Rezko a $25,000 contribution for Blagojevich and the governor asked Rezko whether he’d spoken to Ata about a state job. He gave another $25,000 the following summer and Blagojevich told him the job he got should allow him to “make some money.” Awaiting sentencing. Faced 18 months in prison, but cooperation could mean even less than the 12-month minimum.

–Joseph Cari: Former Democratic National Committee finance chairman. Pleaded guilty in September 2005 to attempted extortion after telling a company seeking TRS business it had to send $750,000 to a consultant of his choice. Testified that Rezko and Kelly tried to recruit him to raise money for a Blagojevich presidential run and that the ex-governor told him governors are in a better position than senators to seek the presidency because they can hand out legal work and other contracts to contributors.”

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