Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rod's cronies look to Iraq for legal fees

The reach of Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich's corruption is starting to touch all corners of the world.

Associated Press' Mike Robinson has a nice scoop about Chris Kelly, one of Blagojevich's indicted fundraisers and close friend, soliciting and receiving a loan from the same man Tony Rezko just borrowed from.

The loan came from General Mediterranean Holdings, a company based in Luxembourg and headed by Nadhmi Auchi, a London-based Iraqi who is currently appealing a fraud conviction in France.

"I don't want to comment," Kelly's defense attorney, Michael D. Monico, said after conferring with the south suburban roofing contractor.
I wouldn't comment either if I were Monico. The borrowed money probably is being used to pay his bill. Kelly used a Nevada land holding to secure the loan.

Records filed with the Illinois secretary of state's office five days earlier show that Kelly received a loan from Auchi. The records do not reflect the size or terms of the loan.

According to the records, the loan was secured by all of Kelly's interest in 640 Across I, a Nevada limited liability company. Kelly is one of five partners in the company, according to records on file at the Nevada secretary of state's office. The four others are Nevada residents.

Kelly and Rezko were two key members of Blagojevich's inner circle who were with him, raising funds, when he first set out to run for governor.
The upcoming Rezko trial is scheduled to start March 3.

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