Tag: Tony Rezko

Tony Rezko Sentenced to 10 1/2 Years

Update: Tony Rezko was sentenced today to 10 1/2 years in prison. Since he's served 45 months, with good time of 54 days a year after the first year, he should be out in about 5 years.


Antoin (Tony) Rezko finally faces sentencing today in Chicago. Prosecutors are asking for 11 to 15 years. Rezko is asking for time served (53 months.)

Last week I read through the initial 100 pages of sentencing pleadings filed, and summarized the arguments.

On Friday, Rezko filed another response, alleging among other things:[More...]

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Gov't . Seeks 11 to 15 Year Sentence for Tony Rezko

Now that the last of the Chicago corruption cases related to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has concluded (with the conviction of William Cellini last week), it's finally time for Antoin (Tony) Rezko and Rod Blagojevich to learn their fate.

Today the Judge scheduled sentencing for Rod Blagojevich for December 6. The Government has not yet filed its sentencing statement. Tony Rezkco's sentencing is November 22 and the Court recently unsealed Rezko's sentencing position and ordered the Government's to be filed publicly. The Government filed its statement last Thursday, seeking 11 to 15 years for Rezko, which includes a reduction for cooperation and his harsh conditions of confinement. Rezko is seeking time served (44 months.)

I've just read through the 100 pages of pleadings. This post is long, but it contains both sides' arguments and is a lot shorter than the 100 pages filed by the parties. If you're so inclined, read through, and tell us what sentence you think Rezko should or will receive. [More..]

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Rezko Sentencing Postponed Indefinitely

Tony Rezko's sentencing was postponed indefinitely today. Looks like he's cooperating with the feds again.

A few weeks ago, Rezko, tired of being held in solitary at the detention facility, asked the judge for immediate sentencing. The judge complied and set sentencing for Jan. 6. Then, Gov. Rod Blagojevich got charged and Rezko changed his mind and asked the judge to pull the sentencing date. [More...]

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Government Undecided on Whether Rezko Will Be a Trial Witness

The Judge overseeing the Tony Rezko case has granted his request for a quick sentencing date. He'll be sentenced January 6. As I wrote the other day, this says to me Rezko didn't get what he was hoping for from Fitzgerald for his cooperation. Fitz went out of his way in the Blagojevich complaint to mention numerous times that Rezko's information differed in key respects from that of other witnesses. That makes him less valuable as a witness.

The Chicago Tribune reports today that it's unclear whether the Government will call Rezko as a witness against Blagojevich. [More..]

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Rezko's Bid for New Trial Denied

Tony Rezko lost his motion for a new trial Wednesday. His sentencing has been continued because he is singing for his supper and giving up information others (No, not Obama, don't even bother trying to go there in comments, Obama is not the subject or relevant to this post.)

Rezko's motion for new trial is here (pdf). The Judge's 34 page ruling is here (pdf).

Chicago Ald. Edward Vrdolyak, aka "Fast Eddie", pleaded guilty last week and Springfield Republican political fundraiser William Cellini was indicted. [More...]

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Rezko Defends Obama in Letter to Judge

The judge in the Tony Rezko trial has released a two page letter Rezko wrote her while seeking to have his bail reinstated in April. In it, he defends Sen. Barack Obama, saying the Government was overzealous in its pursuit of "a crime that never happened" and sought information from him about Obama but he had none to give. The actual letter is here.

Two months before he was convicted of federal corruption charges, political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko told his trial judge that "overzealous" prosecutors were pressuring him to tell them about any wrongdoing involving Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama or Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

But in a two-page typed letter, Rezko said he was never involved in any wrongdoing with either of the Democrats and wouldn't make up stories about them in an attempt to benefit himself.


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Rezko Guilty Verdict: The Relevance

Bump and Update: My long thoughts on the relevance of Rezko's conviction are below:

Earlier: Guilty on 16 of 24 counts.

Here's the blank verdict form (pdf)listing the counts.

The Rezko verdict will be announced in five minutes.

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Rezko Verdict Watch

Bump and Update: Today should be the day for a verdict in the Tony Rezko trial. There seems to be some consensus among trial watchers that count 16, the attempted extortion count, is the one the jury did not agree on. We'll see if a good night's sleep and a dynamite charge from the judge made a difference. Or, if they decided last night and the judge just held the verdict until this morning.

Bump and Update: The jury went home without announcing a verdict and will return in the morning. It may be they reached one but due to the late hour, the judge is holding it until the morning. That's not uncommon in high profile cases.


The jury deliberating the fate of Tony Rezko sent the judge a note today saying it cannot agree on 1 of the 24 counts against him. I guess that means they've decided on the other 23 counts. The judge told them to keep deliberating. [More...]

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Arrest Warrant Issued for Rezko Over Casino Gambling Debts

Whatever the jury decides in the Chicago trial of Tony Rezko, his problems aren't over. A Nevada judge has issued a felony arrest warrant for him as a result of his alleged failure to pay gambling debts.

Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who is standing trial on federal corruption charges in Chicago, is wanted in Las Vegas for failing to pay $472,275 in gambling debts to Caesars Palace and Bally’s and related processing fees to the Clark County district attorney’s office.

The total unpaid Strip bill comes to more than $800,000, however, because the Bellagio obtained a judgment of default against Rezko a year ago for not repaying $331,000 in gambling markers.


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Supreme Court Refuses Former Gov. Ryan Appeal, Rezko Jury Still Out

The Supreme Court today refused to consider the appeal of former Illinois Governor George Ryan, who is serving a 6 1/2 year sentence on corruption charges.

In other Chicago corruption trial news, the Tony Rezko jury is still deliberationg. They've been meeting part-time over the past 14 days, putting in only 6 days of deliberations. But they must know they're slacking off. Today's reason for cutting out early after four days off was that a juror had a job interview to go to. In a note, the jury wrote:

the jury told the judge in the second part of its note that it will be working until 5:50 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. The longer hours were "to help conclude our decision," the jury note said.

Friday is a no-deliberate day as one has child care problems that day. [More...]

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Defense Begins Closing in Rezko Trial

Bump and Update: Rezko's lawyer reminded the jury in closing arguments that Rezko was a fundraiser for Barack Obama.
Before the trial ended for the day, Duffy sought to draw a difference between politics, Rezko's fundraising activities and the allegations in the case.

"Politics is different from criminal activity," said Duffy, reminding the jury that Rezko had been involved in fundraising for President Bush and Barack Obama as well.


Closing Arguments Underway in Rezko Trial

The Government is in the midst of what it said will be a 3 to 4 hour closing argument in the corruption trial of Tony Rezko. The Chicago Tribune is live-blogging. The Chicago Sun Times lists the ten key moments in the trial. [More...]

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Rezko: Defense Rests, No Witnesses Called

The testimony in the trial on Tony Rezko has ended. The defense did not call any witnesses. The prosecution's case lasted 9 weeks. Closing arguments are next week.

"We do not believe the government has met [its] burden proving the charges against Mr. Rezko, plain and simple," Rezko's attorney, Joseph Duffy, said in explaining his tactical decision not to mount a defense case.

Probably a smart move. It's also a typical one, so it shouldn't be viewed as them not having a defense. It's a statement there was no need to put on a defense since the prosecution didn't prove its case.

The Judge has taken under advisement several motions for judgment of acquittal. The charges are multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, attempted extortion, aiding and abetting bribery and money laundering.

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