Facing sentencing for his political corruption conviction, Chicago real estate developer and long-time Obama financial supporter Antoin Rezko is reported to be considering cooperating with prosecutors.
Rezko’s trial this year laid bare a culture of scams, bribes and backroom deals stretching from City Hall to the Statehouse. It even became fodder in the presidential campaign of Democratic nominee Barack Obama, whose fundraising and personal ties to Rezko go back more than a decade.
Rezko has made no deal in the wake of his June corruption conviction, sources familiar with the situation said, but has had preliminary talks with prosecutors before an October sentencing that could put him in prison for years. Still, there are indications Rezko has already provided investigators with information.
Four attorneys have told the Tribune in recent days that federal prosecutors have telephoned them and other attorneys either with news Rezko is talking, or armed with details only Rezko could know. The lawyers speculated prosecutors are using the preliminary talks with Rezko to shake loose more cooperation from other witnesses.
“I had very recent a conversation with an assistant U.S. attorney that led me to believe they were getting specific information from either Mr. Rezko or Mr. Rezko’s lawyer,” said a defense attorney who said he represents a figure in the case. None of the attorneys interviewed would agree to be quoted by name, saying they didn’t want to hurt their clients.