Cellini's lawyers want probation for former political heavy weig - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Cellini's lawyers want probation for former political heavy weight


A once-powerful Illinois political player who got campaign contributions for Rod Blagojevich asks for probation instead of jail. William Cellini was convicted for his role in a scheme to shake down a Hollywood producer for the former Illinois governor.

Federal prosecutors want to sentence Cellini to up to eight years for conspiring to commit extortion and soliciting a bribe. But Cellini's attorneys filed paperwork Monday saying that the recommendation is based on more serious offenses for which Cellini was acquitted. They say evidence shows Cellini was unaware of an extortion plan.

Cellini was convicted for his role in trying to get a $1.5 million campaign contribution for Blagojevich, who is now in prison, from Oscar-winning producer Thomas Rosenberg in exchange for state business.

Sentencing in Chicago has been delayed until October 4 because of Cellini's health problems.

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