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Developer linked to Obama guilty in fraud case

  • Story Highlights
  • Illinois political power broker Tony Rezko convicted in corruption case
  • Rezko was accused of demanding kickbacks for state business contracts
  • Rezko made contributions to Obama campaign, sold him land
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CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Political powerbroker Tony Rezko, whose links to presidential contender Barack Obama dropped him into the national spotlight this year, was convicted of money laundering, fraud and bribery charges by a federal jury Wednesday.

Tony Rezko, left, leaves federal court with his family Tuesday during deliberations in his corruption trial.

Rezko -- who has contributed thousands to the campaigns of the Illinois senator and other Democrats -- was accused of demanding kickbacks from companies seeking Illinois state business.

He was convicted of 16 of 24 charges, including 12 counts of wire and mail fraud, two counts of aiding and abetting bribery and two counts of money laundering. He was acquitted of attempted extortion.

Testimony at Rezko's trial in federal court brought up ties between Obama and Rezko, with a witness putting Obama at Rezko's house for a party where the guest of honor was Iraqi-British businessman Nadhmi Auchi.

Obama has said he doesn't recall ever meeting Auchi, who was convicted of fraud in France.

Amid the controversy, Obama acknowledged he had accepted contributions from Rezko and bought a strip of land from Rezko, a Chicago real-estate developer.

Obama, who has not been accused of wrongdoing in the case, has vowed to give up the contributions, and called the purchase a mistake. He has already donated to charity at least $80,000 in campaign contributions linked to Rezko.

Obama won enough delegates Tuesday to clinch the Democratic Party's nomination for president.

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