Ex-Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko sentenced to prison for second time

December 22, 2011

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For the second time in two months, Tony Rezko was back in front of a judge Thursday to be sentenced to federal prison. Rezko was a fundraiser for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Rezko was recently sentenced to 10 and a half years behind bars for his role in corruption in the Blagojevich administration. Thursday, he was back in front of a judge to be sentenced in a different case. This time for lying to get some loans to keep his failing businesses afloat. The case was brought as prosecutors were applying pressure to individuals involved in illegal fundraising for Blagojevich.

Judge James Zagel today handed Rezko a seven and a half year sentence, which he can serve at the same time as his other sentence. Zagel also admonished Rezko for entangling, "an honorable man" into his criminal acts. By that he meant one of Rezko's co-defendants who pleaded guilty, but the judge didn't say to whom he was referring.

Rezko will also have to pay more than $4 million in restitution, something his attorney says Rezko can't afford to do.

As the frail-looking 56-year-old left the courtroom, he smiled at his family, who waved to him and yelled, "Merry Christmas."