Witness: Rezko shook me down for cash

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Witness Ali Ata testified that Tony Rezko asked him for cash four different times for a total of $125,000.
Ata went to his brother-in-law's company, Jenin Distribution, and removed huge sums of cash from the safe. On the first occasion, Rezko told him he needed $25,000 for Gov. Blagojevich's home. Contractors were going to slap a lien on the home if the money didn't come through, Ata said.

Another request for money came in the fall of 2004.
"He needed $100,000 ... he was being pushed, he had a lot of obligations and he needed $100,000 in cash," Ata said Rezko told him. Ata had half of that.
Rezko allegedly showed up at Ata's Lemont home and told him to get in the car. With $50,000 in a bag in the car, the two drove to the house of Blagojevich fund-raiser Chris Kelly.

"I stayed in the car first, Rezko went in and told me to come in."
Kelly was home and a College football game was on the television.
"When you left Mr. Kelly’s house, was the cash still in the car?" Prosecutor Carrie Hamilton asked.
"No," Ata said.
On the car ride home, Rezko wasn't specific on where the money was going.
"He said that there was somebody from downstate coming up to pick up the money," Ata said.

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Think that's the style Rezko used to get Auchi to pony up a donation for the Obama lot?

Hanna, very interesting, do you really think that money came from Auchi, it could have come from Alsammarae there's still $650 million missing, how much does it cost to buy a Senator and possible future President. Plus we don't know who got Alsammarae out of Iraq yet, if Obama had something to do with it, maybe the house is some kind of payback.

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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.

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This page contains a single entry by Natasha Korecki published on May 1, 2008 4:11 PM.

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