November 22, 2011 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — A judge in Chicago has sentenced the man who helped federal prosecutors learn about Illinois’ ”pay-to-play” politics to more than 10 years in prison.
Tony Rezko, a former political fundraiser, was convicted in 2008 on corruption charges, including fraud, money laundering and trying to squeeze money out of firms wanting to do business with the state.
The court handed down the sentence at approximately 11 a.m. Tuesday.
STORY: Feds ask for 11-plus years in prison for Rezko
Tony Rezko apologized in court, but it was not enough. Despite Rezko’s remorse, his good deeds prior to his crimes, and the fact that he was a family man, the judge said he engaged in serious offenses of public corruption, and she wants to send a message that enough is enough; corruption does not pay.
Rezko has been in jail since his conviction. Prior to Tuesday’s sentencing, his lawyers had argued that had been long enough.
Rezko agreed to cooperate with prosecutors when they were investigating corruption cases, including the one against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Because of that, Rezko’s own sentencing was delayed — until now.
However, Rezko never took the stand. Prosecutors said they could not use him. Rezko’s attorney said the former political fundraiser endured harsh conditions while he was waiting in jail and that if he would have been sentenced earlier, he would have been in a more so-called “white collar” criminal facility.
It is possible Rezko will get credit for the time he has already served.
Prosecutors, on the other hand, had asked for up to 15 years behind bars for Rezko.
The judge recommended that Rezko serve the time in Wisconsin.
Rezko’s sentencing could send a harsh message to Rod Blagojevich, who will be sentenced in December.
Attorneys from both sides of the Rezko case were expected to speak publicly later Tuesday.
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- Book: Blagojevich Said He Believed Rezko Channeled $25,000 to Obama (breitbart.com)
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