Tony Rezko: July 2010 Archives

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

With two brief witnesses, prosecutors are continuing to suggest more shady dealings between Patti Blagojevich and Tony Rezko's Rezmar Corp.

First, real estate agent Marianne Piazzi, and now FBI Special Agent Jane Ferguson, are testifying on the sales of properties owned by a Rezmar company.

They testify that Patti's real estate company, River Realty, accepted cash from Rezko without doing any work.

For the sale of a property at 1069 W. Chestnut, River Realty got more than $14,000, documents show.

In his cross-examination, defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. questioned Ferguson's knowledge of the River Realty documents, suggesting she doesn't know how old the documents are or who created them.

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Defense attorney Michael Gillespie is questioning Winter on his knowledge of a business arrangement between Patti Blagojevich and convicted businessman Tony Rezko.

Gillespie: "You are not the person who negotiated the working agreement with Mrs. Blagojevich?"
Winter: "No."
Gillespie: "You have absolutely no idea about the underlying terms of that working agreement?"
Winter: "No."

Testimony last week stated that Patti pocketed a $12,000 retainer from Rezko's development company each month for doing virtually no work, and also received other checks and home repairs.

Patti could have been performing legitimate services for the company, Gillespie is arguing.

Winter is now off the stand. The government has called real estate agent Marianne Piazzi.

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

This Tuesday morning began with an announcement that Juror No. 115 -- a white woman -- has been dismissed because of a "critical illness" of a parent, Judge James Zagel said.

Michael Winter, a consultant for Tony Rezko's Rezmar Corp., is now back on the stand for his cross-examination.

Earlier, on his way into court, Rod Blagojevich passed a group of reporters. "How's the suit?" he asked.

He was referencing testimony from last week where an agent testified he spent $400,000 on fine clothing, suits, shoes, ties and even underwear.

Blagojevich trial: Day 19 and last week's recap

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Last week ended with a new revelation about the Blagojevich family: a $400,000 bill on high-end suits, designer ties, furs, shoes and even fancy underwear. The family spent more on fine clothing than on its mortgage, child care or tuition in the years Rod Blagojevich served as governor, according to testimony.
As the fourth full week of trial concluded, prosecutors revealed they may wrap up its case next week -- much sooner than they had anticipated.

Meanwhile, jurors heard Blagojevich unleash jealousy and hatred against President Obama, they heard the infamous "f------ golden" recording, and heard testimony that Blagojevich referred to Alexi Giannoulias as a "mother f-----."

Some explosive testimony from union leader Tom Balanoff indicated that Barack Obama called him one day before the 2008 presidential election to give him the green light on Valerie Jarrett for the Senate seat.

Two witnesses testified that Patti Blagojevich was paid by Tony Rezko's Rezmar for doing no work.

Up today:
1. Michael Winter, a Rezmar consultant, continues his testimony.
2. This week prosecutors are expected to put on Indian supporters to Rod Blagojevich who will testify about the ex-governor's alleged desire to extract a $1.5 million campaign donation from Jesse Jackson Jr. in exchange for a Senate seat appointment.

Reporting with Sarah Ostman

A government witness has testified that businessman Tony Rezko asked him to cut checks to the former governor's wife even though she hadn't done work for it.

Robert Williams, former chief financial officer of Rezko's Rezmar company said
she was paid $12,000 a month and it was recorded in Rezmar books as consulting.

Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton asked if Williams was aware of any consulting work Patti Blagojevich did.

Williams: "I was not."

Williams is testifying under a grant of immunity.

Williams said he'd occasionally see Patti in the offices.

"She had her children with her," he said and she usually just talked to Rezko.

"Mr. Rezko informed me we wouldn't be writing any more checks after that May, 2004 check," he said.

In January, 2004: Williams is testifying that Rezko gave him a check from Chicago Title and Trust for $40,000. Williams said Rezko told him to deposit it and then cut a check to Patti Blagojevich's River Realty company in the amount of $40,000.

Before that testimony, Williams spoke of another, $15,000 check that Rezko asked be cut for Patti Blagojevich.

In August 2003, Rezko asked Williams to figure out how they could give River Realty a check for around $15,000. Williams realized they'd recently closed on a deal (850 N Ogden LLC project) and if he tacked on a fake 2.5 percent fee on, it would make up the needed figure.

Hamilton asked Williams if he thought Patti Blagojevich had done any work for that money.

The answer was no.

Reporting with Natasha Korecki

Next on the stand is someone we've seen before -- IRS agent and numbers cruncher Shari Shindler.

With charts and graphs, she's explaining a flow of money from Tony Rezko's Rezmar Corp. to Patti Blagojevich's firm, River Realty.

Prosecutors noted that nowhere on the Blagojevich family's tax returns -- which were publicly released while Rod was governor -- is there any indication that Rezko money went to Patti.

The Blagojeviches' income peaked in 2004 at $392,392. By 2008 -- the year we hear recordings of Blagojevich angsting about his cash flow -- it's down to $226,795.

Patti has left the room for this witness, as she always does when she's the subject of testimony.

Natasha Korecki

Natasha Korecki is the Federal Courts Reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, covering federal news, corruption investigations and trials.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tony Rezko category from July 2010.

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