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Blagojevich Fundraiser Conspired To Defraud Teachers

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A fundraiser for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been indicted on fraud and corruption charges.

Tony Rezko allegedly received kickbacks for directing money from the Teachers Retirement System to investment firms.

U-S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald yesterday called the arrangement a “pay-to-play scheme on steroids.”

“People were feeding at the trough of money that really belongs to teachers whose retirements were being invested. They were looking at it as ‘How can I stick my hand in the pocket of teachers and steal millions?’,” said Fitzgerald.

Rezko allegedly conspired with Chicago businessman Stuart Levine.

Levine was on the board of the Teacher’s Retirement System, and is expected to plead guilty later this month.

Rezko has close ties to Governor Blagojevich, though the Governor has not been charged with wrongdoing.

Prosecutors say an arrest warrant has been issued for Rezko, who’s thought to be traveling outside the country.

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