Rezko Gets A Holiday Pass On A Multi-million Dollar Scam

Today, a U.S. District Judge sentenced Tony Rezko to a 7½-year sentence that will run concurrent with the earlier 10½-year prison term he received last month. That means no additional jail time for Tony.

Essentially, Rezko gets a pass for, as the 2007 appeal denial of the 2006 indictment reads, "participating in a scheme to defraud and to obtain over $10 million dollars in loans from GE Capital Corporation." Eventually, the number went down to $2.6 million, but who's counting?

The Chicago Sun Times described today's sentencing this way:

U.S. District Judge James P. Zagel sentenced Rezko Thursday to 7½ years on charges he schemed to get a fraudulent loan to prop up his Papa John's Pizza franchises in Illinois and Michigan.

But Zagel agreed to make the sentence concurrent with a 10½-year prison term Rezko received last month for corrupting state boards and state government under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

That means every day Rezko spends in prison will count toward both sentences.

Such a deal!

So the minimum remaining time Rezko will serve (maybe) stays at about 5 years, since 85% of federal terms must be served.  And, he seems to be getting credit for that portion of the 3-plus years he served voluntarily on the first charge after he pled guilty to this second charge in early October 2010.  Except in Leap Year which gives it...

According to a seasonally heart-warming story from the Chicago Tribune,

In return for the concurrent sentence, Rezko agreed to drop his appeal of both convictions, said his attorney, Joseph J. Duffy. [a former Assistant U.S. Attorney]

"Mr. Rezko and his family decided they wanted to bring closure to this matter," Duffy said after the sentencing...

About 20 family members lined the seats in [U.S. District Judge James] Zagel's courtroom today --- a smaller showing than turned out last month for Rezko, who is the patriarch of a large, extended family. But the support and care for him was as evident. When he was escorted in custody from the courtroom, it was to a cheery chorus of "Merry Christmas!" Rezko turned and flashed a big smile.

You'd smile, too, if you just got a pass on a multi-million dollar fraud conviction. 

As for Rezko agreeing to drop his "appeal of both convictions" -- hold it! He pled guilty to the pizza fraud scheme. So the court gives him consideration for agreeing not to appeal his own guilty plea? Hey, it's the holiday season.

Note the nice journalistic touch describing the "cheery chorus of 'Merry Christmas!" from his supporters. Recollections of Tiny Tim.

What do you suppose are the odds President Obama will commute his longtime friend's sentence soon after the next election?  Hence the smile.