with Sarah Ostman
Rod Blagojevich's jury is looking at financial charts that appear to buttress the testimony of onetime top Blagojevich aide Lon Monk.
One chart shows a series of wire transfers from various accounts belonging to Tony Rezko. Finally, one of the accounts is drawn down the day after a $200,000 check is written to another Blagojevich associate, Christopher Kelly.
Shari Schindler a 23-year revenue agent with the IRS testified that one check for $12,000 traced back to Patti Blagojevich's account at her business, River Realty in October 3, 2003, the same day that Rezko associate Joseph Aramanda was moving money out of his account.
Schindler is tapped in all the top criminal cases here in federal court. She's known as the expert who untangles the financial mess associated with complicated cases.
Schindler said she scrutinized all of Monk's bank accounts, including his wife's. Between Sept. 2004 and 2007: "There's virtually no cash withdrawn from the banks."
"In that time could you find any deposits for Mr. Monk or his wife?" Prosecutor Reid Schar asked.
"I looked for them and I couldn't find any," Schindler said.
That supports Monk's testimony that he was taking cash payments from Rezko, up to $90,000.
Blagojevich attorney Aaron Goldstein tried offering a reason for the cash payments.
"Someone was giving him potentially hush-money," attorney Goldstein tried asking.
It apparently was such an obvious objection, there was laughter in the gallery.
Judge James Zagel slapped down some of Goldstein's attempted questions, repeatedly telling him he was going outside the scope.
He's now giving the defense yet another tutorial on what kinds of questions they're allowed to ask and what they're not allowed to ask. In general, don't start questions: "is it possible," he said.
He made comparisons to the World Cup, saying it's "possible" that England or Brazil might win. But anyone who says it's possible that Australia wins doesn't know what he's talking about.
(Personally, I'm offended Zagel didn't use Argentina as an example of a "possible" winner.)
"Before you utter the word "possible" think about that," Zagel told them.