Monday, July 23, 2012

The Blago Bunch - Pay 2 Play

Last week was busy in Illinois  as more henchmen and scoundrels face the Courts in the Rod Blagojevich corruption case. Congressman Jessie Jackson Jr. fell 'ill' after the big money man Nayak was arrested. He has yet to resurface in public as of July 23, 2012.  Democrat U.S. House Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. - Corruption is Exhausting

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Flashback to:
Monday, July 16, 2012
3 Blagojevich cronies in federal court this week
Former Governor Rod Blagojevich has been in a Colorado prison for four months now but his coattails still dangle in Illinois.
In this Intelligence Report: The luck of the draw this week brings together three of Blagojevich's top cronies separately in federal court this week.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the troika of former Blagojevich buddies will have their cases called in federal court. Ali Ata and Stuart Levine will be sentenced, and Bill Cellini will attempt to have his sentencing put off.
Even though their cases were all separate prosecutions, they were all beholden to Blagojevich.
Chicago businessman Ata pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in an effort to cover his tracks with Governor Blagojevich and corrupt developer Tony Rezko.
Ata also pleaded to tax fraud. As part of his plea deal with the government, he agreed to a 12-to-18 month prison sentence. Tuesday, though, according to a court filing, Ata's attorney will ask that the 60-year-old Jordanian native be given probation in consideration for his lengthy cooperation with prosecutors and testimony. Judge James Zagel will decide and impose sentence.
Then, on Wednesday, it will also be Judge Zagel who will decide whether to grant a motion by corrupt business tycoon William Cellini to postpone his sentencing.
After a career of backstage wheeling and dealing, Cellini was convicted in November of trying to shake down a Hollywood producer for Blagojevich campaign contributions. The 77-year-old had a heart attack last month followed by a blood clot. Prosecutors want an eight-year sentence.
Finally, on Thursday, serial swindler Stuart Levine will be sentenced.
Levine testified against both Cellini and Rezko and helped to convict both of the former Blagojevich financiers. Levine pleaded guilty to a money laundering and tax fraud."


 "And, if that isn't already a week's worth of corruption, Tuesday will also see former Blagojevich fundraiser Raghuveer Nayak in court for a hearing in his medical kickback case. Nayak was the link between Blagojevich and Jesse Jackson Jr. in the infamous "golden" U.S. Senate seat."

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Ali Ata

A federal judge has sentenced a former Illinois official to four years' probation for donating $50,000 to then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign in exchange for a state job.
Ali Ata spoke briefly in court Tuesday, apologizing for his actions. The judge also ordered Ata to pay a $50,000 fine. Ata is the former director of the Illinois Finance Authority.
His testimony at Blagojevich's first corruption trial helped convict the impeached governor on one count of lying to the FBI about fundraising. Ata did not testify at Blagojevich's retrial, which resulted in more convictions.
Ata pleaded guilty to making false statements to a government agent and to filing a false income tax return.


Stuart Levine
 Key witness in Blagojevich probe gets 5 1/2 years

— A judge on Thursday sentenced one of the most unsavory figures to emerge from the investigation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to just 5 1/2 years in prison, heeding praise for the former political insider as one of the most important cooperating witnesses in the state's sordid history of corruption.
Moments before the judge announced the sentence for money laundering and fraud, a somber Stuart Levine stood ramrod straight at a courtroom podium, apologizing for a laundry list of scams in which he used influence on state boards to line his pockets with millions of dollars.
"I wish to express my deep regret to the people of Illinois," said the admitted former drug addict and serial swindler, now 66. He added that he has "profound remorse and deep regret for all that I have done."
Otherwise composed, his voice momentarily cracked as he also apologized to his children for the pain he caused them.
Later, Judge Amy St. Eve acknowledged Levine played central roles in bringing several public figures to justice. But she said he also cheated business partners, hospitals, charities and others - once even swindling a dead friend's estate and the man's deaf daughter out of $2 million.
His schemes included using a seat on the Illinois Health Facilities Planning board to shake down hospitals for kickbacks. And he ran similar swindles at the $40 billion state teachers' pension fund.
"You are certainly one of the most corrupt individuals this district has ever seen," the judge told him. "It is clear you would stop at nothing for your greedy ends."
Levine, who must report to prison on Sept. 27, faced a maximum life sentence. In the end, though, the judge chose to impose the term prosecutors recommended in a 2006 plea deal.
In his remarks, prosecutor Chris Niewoehner praised Levine for trial testimony that helped convict former Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko and longtime Illinois powerbroker William Cellini.
Levine didn't testify at Blagojevich's trials. But Niewoehner said he deserved substantial credit for evidence that led to the conviction of Blagojevich, who is serving a 14-year term for corruption.

William Cellini
Sentencing delayed for Cellini
July 19, 2012
"Springfield power broker William Cellini's sentencing for his federal corruption conviction was delayed Wednesday until Oct. 4. Cellini, who suffered a heart attack last month, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday, but U.S. District Judge James Zagel agreed to the delay. Cellini is unable to travel from Springfield because of his health, his attorney, Dan Webb, told reporters after court. In recent court papers, federal prosecutors said Cellini, 77, faces 61/2 to eight years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines but also offered that this might be the rare case for a defendant to receive a somewhat shorter prison term because of his health and age. Still, prosecutors said Cellini should be given "a meaningful sentence of incarceration."

 Raghuveer Nayak
 Updated 06/20/12 – 8:35 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — "A key figure in the Rod Blagojevich corruption case was arrested on Wednesday on federal fraud and tax charges.
Raghuveer Nayak was a top fund-raiser for Blagojevich and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Nayak, according to investigators, had offered to raise millions of dollars in campaign cash for the former governor, hoping it would help Jackson secure an appointment to President Obama’s old Senate seat. He also admittedly paid to have restaurant hostess Giovanna Huidobro, with whom Jackson was having an affair, flown between Chicago and Washington, D.C. on two occasions.
The charges filed on Wednesday have noting to do directly with the Blagojevich case. Federal authorities allege Nayak paid bribes and kickbacks to other physicians for patient referrals and filed false tax returns that understated his income"

"Nayak, 57, was charged with 10 counts of mail fraud, five counts of interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and four counts of filing false income tax returns for the years 2005-08.
Although the charges have nothing to do with the Blagojevich or Jackson allegations, some observers believe Nayak’s arrest could be part of an effort by the feds to squeeze Nayak for information on a more prominent target.
Attorney Michael Ettinger, who successfully defended Blagojevich’s brother Robert, said it’s interesting that the FBI arrested Nayak at his home, instead of just mailing him a notice to appear in court.
“You’re in custody. You’re arrested. And when you get a notice to appear, you’re not in custody. You walk in the building through the front door,” Ettinger said. “I’m speculating they want to squeeze him on something. He cooperated with the government, and not only did they charge him subsequently, but they arrested him.”

"Ettinger said it appears the feds are playing hardball with the physical arrest because they want to press Nayak to cooperate in an investigation of a higher value target.
“They went to this extent, and arrested him at home? There’s something going on beyond these charges. You know it, I know it, just from our experience. I don’t think it’s right,” Ettinger told CBS 2′s Mike Parker.
A federal judge set Nayak’s bond at $10 million at a hearing on Wednesday, and Nayak agreed to put up six pieces of property in Illinois and Indiana as collateral. He was released from custody immediately after the hearing and ran out of the courthouse to avoid reporters."

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More background on the case.

 U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald leaves office, Media portrays Fitzgerald as fearless crime fighter, Patrick Fitzgerald protected Obama delayed Blagojevich prosecution

  Posted on

“Patrick Fitzgerald’s office knew from an informant and wiretaps beginning in December of 2003 that there was corruption in Blagojevich’s administration. The Chicago Tribune on October 25, 2005 reported about a federal grand jury investigation of the Blagojevich administration. The Chicago Tribune on August 5, 2006 reported that Stuart Levine was cooperating with the federal investigation. Stuart Levine was the key witness in Operation Board Games.
Why wasn’t Rod Blagojevich, Governor of IL, prosecuted before Tony Rezko, a businessman?
Why did Patrick Fitzgerald and the US Justice Department wait until December 2008 to arrest Rod Blagojevich?”…Citizen Wells
“Patrick Fitzgerald stated after the Blagojevich arrest: ‘I was not going to wait until March or April or May to get it all nice and tidy’
‘I think that would be irresponsible.’
Fitzgerald did wait to arrest Blagojevich and there are other words to describe his actions. Criminal, conspiracy and Chicago pay to play.”…Citizen Wells
“Antoin Rezko, …recently received a sentence of 126 months’ imprisonment for corrupt activity that he engaged in directly with Blagojevich or with  Blagojevich’s tacit approval. Yet, Rezko: (a) held no elected office of trust;”…Patrick Fitzgerald’s Government Sentencing Memorandum

“The people in power,the first thing they have to do,they have to get control of the media.The perfect example was my case.The main person that I attempted to give information on,the person who was in charge of a lot of things the person who was able to pick all the judges,was one of my main targets.While he also happens to be the same person who’s able to give out all the money ,in the city, he’s Chairman of Finance Committee in Chicago.He was able to hire the U.S. Attorney who was supposed to prosecute him,pay him huge sums of money and he never got prosecuted.There was no explanation as to why he didn’t .He just was not prosecuted.To this day he continues there in that same position where he’s able to pick all the judges,he’s Chairman of the Democratic Judicial Slating Committee.He picks all the judges in Chicago.After I reported what I did and it was out there,that he was fixing murder cases and molesting cases, himself and his wife.His wife afterwards was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court where she sits today.When she ran for re-election nobody dared oppose her.I mean that’s the basic problem with Chicago and why Chicago will not change,because the people in charge are the most powerful people,have the media in their pockets.”…FBI Informant and attorney Robert Cooley

With all of the attention on the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, the sad state of the economy and the 2012 elections, Patrick Fitzgerald left his post with the US Justice Department with glowing remarks from the mainstream media.
From the Chicago SunTimes June 29, 2012.

“After 11 years as U.S. attorney in Chicago, Fitzgerald steps aside”
“The relentless U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois ended his 11-year run as Chicago’s top federal prosecutor Friday, retiring from an office that brought countless criminals to justice.
“I think his legacy will be that he raised the bar of what it means to be a U.S. Attorney in Chicago. It’s a great office with a great history. Pat came from outside and over 10 years built upon that history to leave the office better than he found it,” said Zachary Fardon, who prosecuted former Gov. George Ryan under Fitzgerald and now is a defense lawyer.
“He did that through hard work, but most important was his purity of intentions, the earnestness of his convictions, and his kindness of heart, all of which motivated everyone around him to be better. That’s hard to act to follow.”
The end of Fitzgerald’s run was a sprint to the finish.
On Thursday, his office announced a significant public corruption investigation against two former elected officials — Joseph Mario Moreno and Ambrosio Medrano.
Last week, the FBI arrested Raghuveer Nayak, a political fund-raiser who was a key figure in the Rod Blagojevich corruption case as well as a man close to U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.”
“Under Fitzgerald’s tenure, the state saw the dismantling of the power structures beneath two governors and then the convictions of the governors themselves — Ryan, a Republican, and Blagojevich, a Democrat.”

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The attempted sale of Obama's old Senate Seat will not be vigorously investigated or prosecuted. Jessie Jackson Jr., Valerie Jarrett and other connected Democrats are above the law. Progressive, and predictable.