VIA THE NY Times
CHICAGO — Antoin Rezko, a once powerful fund-raiser who helped propel the career of Senator Barack Obama, was found guilty Wednesday by a federal jury of 16 criminal counts, including money laundering and aiding and abetting bribery in a scheme that touched the highest levels of the administration of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois
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In the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama, whose name rarely came up during the trial, has been criticized for his involvement with Mr. Rezko in property transactions related to his home. As Mr. Obama was buying his house in 2005, Mr. Rezko’s wife, Rita, bought an adjacent empty lot. She later sold the Obamas a portion of the lot that enabled them to expand their yard. Mr. Obama has since called the transactions “boneheaded.”
According to Mr. Obama’s campaign, Mr. Rezko may have raised as much as $250,000 for him over the years; the campaign has donated $159,085 in contributions from Mr. Rezko, his family and associates to charity, the amount the campaign says can be “reasonably credited to Mr. Rezko’s political support.”
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