Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

IntellectSucks

Diabloii.Net Member
Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-rezko5-2008jun05,0,864831.story

LA Times Article said:
The Illinois businessman and Democratic insider surrenders with plans to appeal after being convicted of using his clout to extort millions of dollars.
By Bob Secter and Jeff Coen, Chicago Tribune
June 5, 2008
CHICAGO -- Democratic insider Antoin "Tony" Rezko was convicted of federal corruption charges Wednesday for trading on his clout as a top advisor and fundraiser to Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich.

The conviction could have broad repercussions for the Democratic governor, who made Rezko a central player in his Cabinet. It could also prove a political liability for Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who once counted Rezko as a friend and fundraiser.



The 10-woman, two-man jury deliberated nearly two weeks before convicting Rezko of scheming with Stuart Levine, a longtime Republican insider, to extort millions of dollars from firms seeking state business or regulatory approval.

The real estate and restaurant entrepreneur was convicted on 16 of 24 counts -- 12 counts of wire and mail fraud, two counts of money laundering and two counts of aiding and abetting bribery. He was acquitted of attempted extortion.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 3. Rezko surrendered to federal custody Wednesday afternoon.

"Mr. Rezko on his own decided that if he was convicted, he wanted to immediately begin serving his sentence," said his lawyer, Joseph Duffy, who added he would appeal the verdict. "We strongly believe in Mr. Rezko's innocence, as does he."

Levine, who pleaded guilty in 2006, became the government's star witness. He testified that in return for kickbacks, Rezko rigged decisions of two state boards on which Levine sat.

But the defense said Levine was a drug-addled con man who had dodged a life sentence by inventing tales of illegal activity involving Rezko. The defense also questioned Levine's memory, saying he had abused cocaine and crystal methamphetamine for decades.

In their closing arguments, prosecutors urged jurors not to disregard Levine's testimony just because they might have found him offensive. Government wiretaps and other witnesses backed up Levine's account, prosecutors contended.

Trial testimony produced a series of stunning allegations that went well beyond the scope of the criminal charges.

Former state official Ali Ata told jurors he had bought his post with bribes to Rezko and campaign contributions to Blagojevich. Ata was one of several witnesses who said Rezko talked of a plot to end the criminal probe against him by pulling strings with the Bush administration to get U.S. Atty. Patrick J. Fitzgerald fired.

Rezko had befriended many Illinois politicians and was a major fundraiser for some, most prominently Blagojevich and Obama. The criminal charges against Rezko had nothing to do with his connection to Obama. But that link still proved a nagging headache during Obama's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, especially in the wake of Chicago Tribune revelations that linked Rezko to a 2005 real estate deal involving Obama's home.

The verdict poses problems that are far more acute for Blagojevich, who swept to victory in 2002 with claims that he would clean up Illinois government after the scandal-plagued years of his now-imprisoned predecessor, George H. Ryan.

The governor, who has not been charged with wrongdoing, steadfastly maintains that he is committed to reform.

Tribune staff writer Jodi Cohen contributed to this report.

Congratulations to the Democratic party on their stellar choice of a candidate!!!
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

Boy, these stories are so rare and thrilling.
 

razen

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

and absolutely nothing to do with obama.

seriously, if you are going to bash obama in a rant thread, google "secret muslim", you will have more success there than this crap


edit: i was going to stop, but i just can't help but insult your intelligent some more. tell me, did you even read the article? seems like you lack the ability to read except to alt-f the keyword "obama"

good job, this is the future of america... some kid that can alt-f but can't read.
 

IntellectSucks

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

and absolutely nothing to do with obama.

seriously, if you are going to bash obama in a rant thread, google "secret muslim", you will have more success there than this crap
The man was a fundraiser for his campaign, arranged the deal that bought Obama his house and has been described by OBAMA HIMSELF as "his friend and mentor". I'd say that someone who is running for President should not have a man convicted of fraud and money laundering as a mentor.

edit: i was going to stop, but i just can't help but insult your intelligent some more. tell me, did you even read the article? seems like you lack the ability to read except to alt-f the keyword "obama"

good job, this is the future of america... some kid that can alt-f but can't read.
You want to point out exactly which parts of the article state why a fundraiser for the Obama campaign who was convicted of fraud has no bearing on whether or not Obama should be president? What type of decision making capability does it demonstrate when you hire someone who is committing fraud and laundering money as a fundraiser for your campaign?

In other words do you have a REASONED argument to make or do you just want to insult people who have valid questions about Obama?


 

razen

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

In other words do you have a REASONED argument to make or do you just want to insult people who have valid questions about Obama?
"The criminal charges against Rezko had nothing to do with his connection to Obama."

and the fact that the whole article mention obama only in paragraph 3. i don't know what's more obvious.

what this article is saying, is some guy is linked to obama that have frauded, that's far different from "obama has frauded"

you need to get your fact straight


 

Ankeli

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

Oh yes, this would make him an awful president.

Good to horrible meter just skyrocketed!
 

AeroJonesy

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

This reminds me of athletic boosters being connected to the schools whose athletics they support, even though schools often have very little control over the boosters.
 

KillerAim

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

You have to realize that Obama is a product of the Chicago Machine, which is one of the most corrupt political units in the Country. This doesn't necessarily mean that he is corrupt himself, but it does explain how he came to be associated with people like Rezko, who was intimately involved in Chicago politics. The following article is a fairly balanced, "Just the fact's" chronological listing of the interactions between Obama and Rezko.
Here are eight things to know:

1. They met in 1990. Obama was a student at Harvard Law School and got an unsolicited job offer from Rezko, then a low-income housing developer in Chicago. Obama turned it down.

2. Obama took a job in 1993 with a small Chicago law firm, Davis Miner Barnhill, that represents developers -- primarily not-for-profit groups -- building low-income housing with government funds.

3. One of the firm's not-for-profit clients -- the Woodlawn Preservation and Investment Corp., co-founded by Obama's then-boss Allison Davis -- was partners with Rezko's company in a 1995 deal to convert an abandoned nursing home at 61st and Drexel into low-income apartments. Altogether, Obama spent 32 hours on the project, according to the firm. Only five hours of that came after Rezko and WPIC became partners, the firm says. The rest of the future senator's time was helping WPIC strike the deal with Rezko. Rezko's company, Rezmar Corp., also partnered with the firm's clients in four later deals -- none of which involved Obama, according to the firm. In each deal, Rezmar "made the decisions for the joint venture," says William Miceli, an attorney with the firm.

4. In 1995, Obama began campaigning for a seat in the Illinois Senate. Among his earliest supporters: Rezko. Two Rezko companies donated a total of $2,000. Obama was elected in 1996 -- representing a district that included 11 of Rezko's 30 low-income housing projects.

5. Rezko's low-income housing empire began crumbling in 2001, when his company stopped making mortgage payments on the old nursing home that had been converted into apartments. The state foreclosed on the building -- which was in Obama's Illinois Senate district.

6. In 2003, Obama announced he was running for the U.S. Senate, and Rezko -- a member of his campaign finance committee -- held a lavish fund-raiser June 27, 2003, at his Wilmette mansion.

7. A few months after Obama became a U.S. senator, he and Rezko's wife, Rita, bought adjacent pieces of property from a doctor in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood -- a deal that has dogged Obama the last two years. The doctor sold the mansion to Obama for $1.65 million -- $300,000 below the asking price. Rezko's wife paid full price -- $625,000 -- for the adjacent vacant lot. The deals closed in June 2005. Six months later, Obama paid Rezko's wife $104,500 for a strip of her land, so he could have a bigger yard. At the time, it had been widely reported that Tony Rezko was under federal investigation. Questioned later about the timing of the Rezko deal, Obama called it "boneheaded" because people might think the Rezkos had done him a favor.

8. Eight months later -- in October 2006 -- Rezko was indicted on charges he solicited kickbacks from companies seeking state pension business under his friend Gov. Blagojevich. Federal prosecutors maintain that $10,000 from the alleged kickback scheme was donated to Obama's run for the U.S. Senate. Obama has given the money to charity.
Numer 7 is the only one I find bothersome. Purchasing a house for $300,000 less then the asking price in what was then a boom market is a little suspicious, but purchasing land for about 1/6 of the price paid less than six months prior is suspicious as hell. Still, the practice of politicians getting 'great' deals on things they buy is rampant throughout the Country no matter what party is involved or at what level the politician holds his office.
 

AeroJonesy

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

Numer 7 is the only one I find bothersome. Purchasing a house for $300,000 less then the asking price in what was then a boom market is a little suspicious, but purchasing land for about 1/6 of the price paid less than six months prior is suspicious as hell.
I suppose it depends on how big the strip of land is. If he bought 1/6 of her land, then the deal makes sense. If he bought half her yard, it doesn't (unless it was the really really crappy half of the yard). But doing a land deal with your friend's wife while your friend is under federal investigation isn't going to look good, regardless.

I'm sure in the next month we'll see an equally (ir)relevant story about McCain.



 

IntellectSucks

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

"The criminal charges against Rezko had nothing to do with his connection to Obama."

and the fact that the whole article mention obama only in paragraph 3. i don't know what's more obvious.
Maybe the fact that Obama described him as a "mentor"? Maybe the fact that Rezko held a fundraiser at his house for Obama? Maybe the fact that he raised over half a million dollars for Obama's political career? Some of the other connections that people have tried to push onto Obama I think are kind of stretching it, however this one is pretty clear.

If someone commiting fraud is Obama's mentor what does that say about Obama? Even if Obama was exaggerating with the "mentor" part, doesn't it raise questions about his judgement and his ability to bring about reform when he has regular personal and business dealings with someone who is now convicted of fraud?

Rezko was just convicted of charges that amount to buying and selling political favors. It's estimated that he contributed $600,000 to Obama's political career. Shouldn't that raise some concern? If not then why not? Is it appropriate for the President of the United States to have extensive ties to someone of such questionable character?

what this article is saying, is some guy is linked to obama that have frauded, that's far different from "obama has frauded"

you need to get your fact straight
YOU need to get your facts straight. I never once accused Obama of fraud or implied that Obama has commited fraud. I merely questioned his judgement in who he surrounds himself with and the types of ties he has in his business and personal life. Are these the kind of people who will be filling major policy making positions if Obama is elected?


 

maccool

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

AeroJonesy said:
I'm sure in the next month we'll see an equally (ir)relevant story about McCain.
I'll go so far as to say it will involve the year 1989 and the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. Behold my powers of prophesy!

Next, I'll laugh at the talking point parrots who are making a stink about this Rezko fellow. Actually, I'll start now so I can look super cool on the Internets.
 

Johnny

Banned
Re: Obama fundraiser convicted of fraud

Mayby they can have some Vietnam war vets make public statements that they recall hearing mccains voice telling them to give up secrets while in a prison camp.


I still found that part disgusting where Vietnam war vets said those things about Kerry just to help Bush who did everything short of sacrificing a virgin to satan just to not have to go to Vietnam. Meanwhile Kerry was there fighting with them.
 
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