Former Blagojevich Fundraiser Argues Based On Changes To ‘Honest Services’ Law

CHICAGO (CBS) – Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the notorious former fundraiser for deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is seeking a new trial based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

In a filing Tuesday, attorneys for Rezko contend that his conviction should be overturned based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limited how prosecutors can use the so-called honest services law. That law was used in Rezko’s prosecution, and the ruling has led to appeals by defendants convicted under it.

A jury convicted Rezko in 2008 of squeezing kickbacks from people seeking state business. Rezko has cooperated with prosecutors on Blagojevich’s case since then and agreed to delay his sentencing during that time.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Rezko’s attorneys say he should be allowed to challenge his conviction. Prosecutors argue that request is two years too late.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently sharply curtailed the “honest services” law. Already, this ruling has led a federal appeals court to toss two fraud convictions against former media mogul and Sun-Times parent company owner Conrad Black, who has also been released from prison.

Attorneys for former Gov. George Ryan are also arguing that the Supreme Court ruling warrants tossing some of his convictions and releasing him from prison.

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