Rezko trial: Man of means interested in money, never talked to Rezko

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A wealthy businessman says he worked with middleman on kickback scheme and never met Rezko.

in the first few seconds of interviewing Sheldon Pekin, Defense lawyer Joseph Duffy distances him from Rezko, puts the blame on Stuart Levine and show's Pekin's greed.

“Never met him, never spoke to him,” Pekin told Duffy.
You never spoke to Rezko about any of the matters who spoke about here?
“Never spoke to him, that’s correct.”

"It was Mr. Levine directing your actions?"
“That’s fair to say, yes.”

Duffy cited from Pekin's 125-paged income tax return and gently suggested Pekin was greedy when he got into a kickback scheme with Levine.

"You agreed to that, did you not?" Duffy asked.
"I did agree to that." ... "you can always say no," Pekin admitted.

Suffering from Parkinson's Disease, Pekin has sometimes struggled on the stand, at times mumbling, at times confusing dates. Twice he stopped his testimony, saying he needed a break.
But Duffy pointed out when it came to money, Pekin was no fool.
In one year Pekin earned more than $400,000 in interest alone.
Pekin had capital gains of more than $1 million and reported more than 25 partnerships in 2003. On top of that, he earned a salary.
Pekin has a long-standing practice of post-dating checks by one day because he knows it buys him an extra day's worth of interest.
Pekin did it, he said: “If the checks are large enough."
The kickbacks in the scheme at issue in this trial must have been large enough. Pekin said he post-dated those.

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Natasha Korecki

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

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on March 18, 2008 10:29 AM.

Rezko trial: Investor told to "Back off' was the previous entry in this blog.

Rezko trial: Star witness could be up this afternoon is the next entry in this blog.

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