Jury has reached its verdict in Cellini trial

November 1, 2011

The Associated Press


Jurors have reached a verdict in the trial of an Illinois powerbroker accused of trying to shake down a Hollywood producer for a campaign donation to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The federal court clerk announced Tuesday that the verdict in the trial of William Cellini will be read at noon.

The well-connected millionaire is accused of conspiring with three others in 2004 to extort $1.5 million from the Oscar-winning producer of "Million Dollar Baby." It's the last scheduled trial related to a federal investigation of Blagojevich.

Prosecutors say Cellini participated in a scheme to extort his friend, Hollywood executive Thomas Rosenberg, by threatening to withhold $220 million in state pension funds from Rosenberg's investment company.

Cellini's attorneys say he was unwittingly caught in the plot.