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Levine to Change Not Guilty Plea

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An expected plea change in federal court today could have serious implications for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Businessman Stuart Levine originally pleaded not guilty to corruption charges, involving state retirement funds.

Levine and others allegedly went to companies seeking contacts to invest state money and asked for bribes. Prosecutors call it a “pay-to-play scheme on steroids” because the bribe requests ran into the millions.

Levine’s expected plea change is ominous for Governor Blagojevich. The scheme involves people in the governor’s inner circle. That includes Blagojevich friend and fundraiser Tony Rezko. Rezko also has been charged and has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors have not charged the governor with any crime. Blagojevich flatly denies knowledge of any wrongdoing.

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