Sentencing set in Chicago for ex-state official

July 17, 2012

Associated Press

A federal judge is set to sentence the former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority in a "pay-to-pay" scheme where he donated $50,000 to then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign in exchange for the state job.

Ali Ata is being sentenced Tuesday, two years after testifying at Blagojevich's first corruption trial.

That trial ended mostly deadlocked. But Ata's testimony helped convict the impeached governor on one count of lying to the FBI about fundraising. Ata didn't testify at Blagojevich's retrial.

Ata has pleaded guilty to making false statements to a government agent and to filing a false income tax return.

Convictions on the two counts normally carry a maximum eight-year sentence. But Ata's plea agreement calls for a sentence of between one and one-and-a-half years because he cooperated with prosecutors.