Why Barack Obama should be indicted
One or more of the following events should happen:
Barack Obama was not only in cahoots with corruption figures
like Rezko and other slumlord types like Valerie Jarrett, but
also corrupt figures that fraudulently used the IL Health
Planning Facilities Board and the IL TRS, Teachers Retirement
What do Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich have in common with
these indicted corruption figures?
P. Nicholas Hurtgen
Dr. Robert Weinstein
A host of others mentioned in indictments, complaints and
The Citizen Wells blog has already urged Patrick Fitzgerald to
indict Barack Obama based on his involvement in rigging the IL
Health Planning Facilities Board Indict Obama . The focus of this
article will be Obama’s ties to corruption involving the
TRS, Teachers Retirement System.
TRS, Teachers Retirement System described.
From Rezko indictment
“The Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois (“TRS”) was a
public pension plan created by Illinois law for the purpose of providing
pension, survivor, and disability benefits for teachers and administrators
employed in Illinois public schools except in the City of Chicago. It served
approximately 325,000 members and annuitants, and had assets in excess of
approximately $30 billion. TRS was funded by annual contributions from
teachers, their employers, and the State of Illinois, as well as investment
“The activities of TRS were directed by an 11-member Board of Trustees. Certain
of those trustees were appointed by statute by the Governor of the State of
Illinois, while other trustees were elected by teachers and annuitants. Among
its other responsibilities, the Board of Trustees reviewed and voted to approve
or reject proposals by private investment management companies to manage funds
on behalf of TRS. At any given time, TRS assets were managed by numerous
different investment management companies. These companies were compensated by
TRS for their activities, typically through fees calculated as a percentage of
the TRS assets they managed.”
“In carrying out all of their duties, including reviewing and deciding whether
to approve or reject proposals by private investment management firms to manage
TRS assets, members of the TRS Board of Trustees owed a fiduciary duty to the
beneficiaries of TRS and were required to act solely for the benefit of the
beneficiaries of TRS. In order to assist members of the TRS Board of Trustees
in evaluating proposals to manage TRS assets, TRS required an investment firm to disclose, before TRS decided whether to authorize it to manage TRS assets, all
finder’s fees, placement fees, and commissions (hereafter collectively referred
to as “finder’s fees”) to be paid by that investment firm in connection with its
TRS business. Such fees at times were paid by investment firms to individuals or
entities in exchange for bringing the investment firm to the attention of TRS or
facilitating the communications between the investment firm and TRS.”
Here is a great overview of Obama and Blagojevich ties to corruption
from a April 7, 2008 article on the LA Times blog titled
“Ticket Special Report: Obama and Rezko, the early years”
Written by Andrew Malcolm “A veteran foreign and national correspondent,
Malcolm served on the Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist
“The trial of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, one-time patron to Sen. Barack Obama and
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has turned lurid.
Under cross-examination by Rezko attorney Joseph Duffy, star prosecution witness
Stuart Levine, a Chicago-area lawyer, is admitting to conspiracy, extortion,
bribery, fraud and other bad acts while he “served” at the Illinois public school
teachers pension fund board.”
“It’s an unfolding, seemingly local political story that’s fascinating in its
revealing details about the subterranean world of business, financial and family
connections in Illinois and Chicago politics that helped take a virtually unknown
black Chicago attorney, nurtured him politically and financially and
turned him into….
…the polished candidate who today thrills crowds of thousands across the country
with his eloquence.
Obama currently leads in delegates for the Democratic nomination for president.”
“This story concerns two men, neither of whom face any legal charges today. They
are two of Illinois’ top Democratic politicians — Gov. Blagojevich, who’s been
mentioned often in court, and Sen. Obama, who’s received only passing mentions.
They’re entwined in the Rezko saga, particularly through the bounteous campaign
money he raised for them both.
Get used to that name. Rezko’s currently in a long-running Chicago trial on federal
extortion and bribery charges. Few campaign donors were more responsible than Rezko
for the rise of Blagojevich (Blah-goy-ah-vitch) and Obama. Both politicians came to
rely on him for political and personal advice — and lots of campaign money.”
“So far, Blagojevich, reelected in 2006, is more deeply enmeshed in the scandal than
Obama, who’s not been implicated in any wrongdoing.
But all three operated in the murky world of Illinois Democratic politics, where
money, family relationships and long business associations provide the invisible
glue of the local political world.”
“An early trial exhibit from prosecutors was a spreadsheet. Prepared by an FBI agent,
the spreadsheet identifies Rezko-related donors who supplied $1.43 million between
2001 and 2004 to Blagojevich, who was first elected governor in 2002.
Using Federal Election Commission and Illinois state records, The Times’ Dan Morain
compared donors on the FBI spreadsheet to Obama’s contributors. Guess what.
Sen. Obama received $222,000 during the same 2001-2004 period from Rezko-related
“Those Obama-Blagojevich donors include Rezko himself, along with his family members,
employees and associates of his various business enterprises. There’s also the head
of a major Chicago investment firm that received Illinois public teachers’ pension
money to invest.”
“Another overlapping donor is John Rogers, head of Ariel Capital, a major
Chicago-based investment firm. Rogers gave $12,500 to Blagojevich in 2004, the FBI
spreadsheet shows. Rogers has also given Obama $25,000, state and FEC records reveal.”
“As an Illinois state senator, Obama appeared before Illinois pension funds in 2000
and 2001 to urge that they provide more business to black-owned investment houses
including, as it happens, Ariel.
Describing his efforts to the Urban League last year, Obama said African-American-owned
firms were not getting any business from state pensions. Obama singled out Rogers’ Ariel
Capital, calling it a well-respected investment house, but one that received no business.
“We didn’t have to implement a formal program,” Obama told the Urban League, taking no
credit. “I simply said, ‘Listen to what these folks have to say,’ and in about six
months they got about a half billion dollars worth of business simply on their own
In 2002, the year after Obama made the pitch, the Illinois Teacher Retirement System
reported an 18% increase in assets managed by minority-owned firms. Ariel’s share grew
to $442 million by 2005.
In 2006, after the federal investigation became public, the teacher pension board severed
its relationship with Ariel, concluding that Ariel’s investment returns were insufficient.”
Evelyn Pringle is an investigative journalist and she deserves
a lot of credit for researching and writing about Obama’s ties
to crime and corruption in Chicago and Illinois. The following
exerpts from her articles will provide important insights into
these ties. Access Evelyn Pringle’s articles
Barack Obama — Operation Board Games For Slumlords
“In Obama’s case, a whole gang of slumlords in Illinois made their “voices heard”
by writing campaign checks to fund his rise to fame. But as long as the focus
of the slumlord allegations remains solely on a crook named Rezko, the other
members of the gang will not get the credit they deserve.”
“The prosecution team is led by the US Attorney for Northern Illinois, Patrick
Fitzgerald, of Scooter Libby fame; the same guy who put the last Illinois
Governor behind bars and convicted a host of government officials from the
Daley administrations who were involved in what prosecutors called “pervasive
fraud” to rig city hiring for 12 years with persons who got out the vote for
Mayor Daley, and the candidates he endorsed, as well as numerous crooks rounded
up during the scandal involving Daley’s Hired Truck program.
The list of names in the indictment includes about eight persons referred to
as “Co-Schemers,” and reads like a “who’s who list” of major campaign donors
to Obama, Blagojevich, Daley and other powerful Illinois politicians.
Blagojevich is referred to as “Public Official A,” Obama is referred to as a
“political candidate,” and there is a list of “Individuals” from “Individual A”
all the way up to “Individual HH.””
“The case involves the corruption of two state regulatory boards. The
investigation, dubbed “Operation Board Games,” by the Feds, began in December
2003, based on information supplied by an informant. Its now obvious that Rezko
was aware of the investigation as early as 2004, because during a January 16,
2007, court hearing his attorney, Joe Duffy, told US District Judge Amy St Eve
that he was hired in 2004.”
“On Blagojevich took office, the Schemers were able to stack the TRS board with
members who would vote whichever way they were told. Once they accomplished that
feat, they demanded kickbacks from investment firms in exchange for the approval
of their proposals.
Rezko’s partner in the Rezmar development company, Daniel Mahru, is referred to
as “Individual Z” in the indictment, and according to court filings, Rezko told
Mahru that “$500 million” of TRS money was earmarked for their company. Mahru is
reportedly cooperating with federal investigators.
In addition to lining their own pockets, the money gained through the scheme was
funneled to the campaigns of Blagojevich and Obama. Prosecutors have identified
two $10,000 payments that were made to Obama’s US Senate campaign through straw
donors Joseph Aramanda and Elie Maloof, which originated from a kickback paid by
investment firm, Glencoe Capital, to secure approval for a $50 million deal.
Aramanda and Maloof also each gave Obama $1,000 for his failed run for Congress
in 2000. Once Obama became a US Senator, Aramanda’s son was granted a coveted
intern position in Obama’s Senate office in Washington during the summer of 2005,
based on a request which the Obama’s camp has admitted came from Rezko.
Levine was appointed to the TRS Board in 2000, by Republican Governor George Ryan
and was reappointed in 2003 by Blagojevich. As part of the team led by Levine to
rig the votes, Blagojevich appointed, attorney Anthony Abboud, to serve. He is
“Individual Q” in the indictment. He has been donating money to Obama’s political
career since March 2000, with a total of more than $2,800.
Blagojevich also appointed, attorney Jack Carriglio, or “Individual R.” On June
30, 2003, Carriglio donated $1,000 for Obama’s US Senate campaign.”
“But Obama’s using the lure of the pension funds to raise campaign money goes way
back. In 1999, he “was instrumental in the formation of a coalition of black
investment firm owners and legislators in Illinois to create an initiative that
would award black-owned firms with the management of some of the state’s
retirement funds,” according to a 2004 article on Black Enterprise.com.
“He’s out there fighting for us,” said John Rogers, chairman and CEO of
Chicago-based Ariel Capital Management in the article. Rogers donated $9,000 to
Obama’s US Senate campaign.”
“However, the Times pointed out that Obama’s political career had benefited many
times over from his ties to the group. “Several of the businessmen or their wives
would help clear the debts from his Congressional race,” the Times wrote, “and six
of the group’s members are now among the top fund-raisers for his presidential
campaign, according to campaign finance records.”
All totaled, the Times said, employees at more than 30 companies listed on the
group’s website and their relatives donated more than $300,000 to help Obama win
his US Senate seat in 2004 and “set fund-raising records early in the 2008
“John Rogers and two other people at Ariel each bundled at least $50,000 in
donations for Obama’s presidential campaign, according to the Times.
An October 3, 2005 article in the Sun-Times, by Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney,
reported that Ariel and its top executives also contributed $117,500 to
Barack Obama — Subplots of Operation Board Games
“Fitzgerald further reported that, “Cari and Loren, both formerly prominent
Chicago lawyers, each pleaded guilty in the pending TRS fraud case. Kiferbaum,
a suburban construction executive, pleaded guilty in the pending Planning Board
“All three are cooperating with the government and awaiting sentencing,”
the release said.
“This basically involved a pay to play scheme on steroids,” Fitzgerald told
Allison Davis, Obama’s boss at the law firm, is also listed in legal documents
as playing a part in setting up a major extortion attempt in the Board Games case.”
“Obama’s political career was bankrolled by the same gang that planned to make
Blagojevich president. For instance, Fortunee Massuda, another participant
identified in the “pay-to-play” schemes, contributed $25,000 to Blagojevich
compared to $2,000 to Obama. Michel Malek, another participant, threw $25,000 to
Blagojevich and $10,500 to Obama.
Ali Ata, another guy listed as a co-schemer in one indictment, was made executive
director of the Illinois Finance Authority, and he contributed $25,000 to
Blagojevich and $5,000 to Obama.
Jay Wilton, identified by prosecutors as a major contributor to Blagojevich, is
the owner of Wilton Partners, a construction company in California. He donated
$50,000 to Blagojevich shortly after his firm cinched an $83 million contract
with the state to refurbish the Illinois tollway’s oasis rest stops. Wilton also
gave $5,000 to Obama.
Joe Cari donated $15,000 to Blagojevich but only gave $1,335 to Obama.
A trial exhibit produced by an FBI agent, identifies major contributors who
donated $1.43 million to Blagojevich between 2001 and 2004. The Chicago Sun-Times
compared the exhibit to government campaign records on Obama and found he
received more than $220,000 from many of the same donors between 2001 and 2004.
John Rogers, the head of Ariel Capital, an investment firm that ended up with
major money from the pension funds, is on the FBI’s summary of Blagojevich’s
top contributors. He also gave Obama $25,000.
Rogers is a member of the finance committee for Obama’s presidential campaign.
Rogers also served on the campaign finance committee for Obama’s US Senate run
with Tony and Rita Rezko, Allison Davis, and Myron “Mike” Cherry.
Mike Cherry is listed in the indictment for the pay-to-pay schemes and the FBI
shows he gave Blagojevich $25,000 in 2003.
Daniel Mahru, a major player in the Chicago slumlord racket, has reportedly
flipped in the Board Games case and is cooperating with the prosecution. He is
the owner of Automatic Ice Company, which donated $10,000 to Blagojevich. Mahru
gave $5,000 to Obama.
Attorney, Jack Carriglio, contributed $25,000 to Blagojevich and was appointed
to the TRS Board. He also gave $1000 to Obama.”
“In a January 11, 2006, report by Better Government Association, the groups
Executive Director, Jay Stewart, stated: “Illinois is awash in scandal and
Curtain Time for Obama — Part 1
“Ata told the jury he delivered one $25,000 contribution to Blagojevich at
Rezko’s office in the latter part of 2002, and the three men discussed the
prospects of Ata getting an appointment in the administration. He said people
at the office that day included Blagojevich’s campaign chief and later chief of
staff, Lon Monk, Christopher Kelly, and state Representative Jay Hoffman.
“I learned that Mr. Hoffman was part of a select group of advisers that were
referred to as the kitchen cabinet,” Ata told the jury.
“The way Ali Ata described it, the waiting room in the North Side office of
Antoin “Tony” Rezko seemed as busy as an airport terminal,” the Tribune noted
on May 1, 2008.
Ata brought another $25,000 check to a fundraiser on July 25, 2003, and he was
appointed to lead the Finance Authority.
Ata made a $5,000 donation to Obama less than a month earlier on June 30, 2003.
Ata is also an investor in Riverside Park. Almost without fail, the people
identified in the Board Games cases as investors in Riverside Park contributed
to Obama’s US senate campaign.”
Indictments, Criminal Complaints regarding TRS
Levine, Cari, Loren Indictment
“Beginning no later than early 2002 and continuing through
at least June 2004, in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern
Division, and elsewhere, STUART LEVINE,
defendant herein, together with Joseph Cari, Steven Loren, and
others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, devised and intended to
devise, and participated in, a scheme and artifice to defraud TRS
and its beneficiaries of money, property, and the intangible right
to the honest services of defendant LEVINE, by means of materially
false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and
material omissions, and in furtherance thereof used the United
States mails and other interstate carriers, and interstate and
foreign wires, which scheme is further described below.”
“In the course of the scheme, LEVINE solicited,
demanded, and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in
undisclosed kickbacks and payments for LEVINE and his nominees and
associates from investment firms seeking to do business with TRS.”
Tony Rezko Indictment
“STUART LEVINE and ANTOIN REZKO, also known as “Tony Rezko,”
defendants herein, together with Joseph Cari, Steven Loren, Jacob Kiferbaum,
Individual A, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, devised and
intended to devise, and participated in, a scheme and artifice to defraud the
beneficiaries of TRS and the people of the State of Illinois, of money,
property, and the intangible right to LEVINE’s honest services, by means of
materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and
material omissions, and in furtherance thereof used the United States mails
and other interstate carriers, and interstate and foreign wires, which scheme
is further described below.”
“It was part of the scheme that defendants REZKO and LEVINE, with the
assistance of Cari, Loren, Kiferbaum, Individual A, Individual B, and others,
fraudulently used and sought to use the position and influence of LEVINE and
other members of the TRS Board of Trustees and the Planning Board to obtain
financial benefits for REZKO, LEVINE, and their nominees and associates. In
the course of the scheme, REZKO and LEVINE solicited and demanded millions of
dollars in undisclosed kickbacks and payments, and received and directed
hundreds of thousands of dollars in actual undisclosed kickbacks and payments,
for the benefit of REZKO, LEVINE, and their nominees and associates, from
investment firms seeking to do business with TRS, and from Kiferbaum. Among
the defendants’ fraudulent activities in the course of the scheme were the
“REZKO used his relationship with certain State of Illinois officials, to
ensure that REZKO and LEVINE had the ability to influence the actions of TRS
and the Planning Board for the benefit of themselves and their nominees and
William Cellini Indictment
“Beginning no later than in and about the spring of 2003 and continuing
through in or about the summer of 2005, in the Northern District of Illinois,
Eastern Division, and elsewhere, WILLIAM F. CELLINI, SR., defendant herein,
together with Stuart Levine, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, Steven Loren, Co-Conspirator
A, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, did conspire and agree with
each other to commit offenses against the United States, namely, to devise and
participate in a scheme to defraud the beneficiaries of TRS and the people of
the State of Illinois of their intangible right to Levine’s honest services,
and it was foreseeable that for the purposes of executing and attempting to
execute such scheme, one or more members of the conspiracy would use and cause
the use of the United States mails and private and commercial interstate
carriers, and the transmission of a wire communication in interstate commerce,
in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341, 1343, and 1346.”
Defendant WILLIAM F. CELLINI, SR. (“CELLINI”) had longstanding relationships
and influence with TRS trustees, including Stuart Levine, and TRS staff members,
and was associated with a real estate asset management firm, Commonwealth Realty
Advisors, that managed hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of TRS. CELLINI
also raised significant funds for, among others, Public Official A.”
“It was further part of the conspiracy that in or around the summer and fall of
2004, in an effort to conceal the conspiracy, CELLINI, Rezko and others discussed
the possibility of removing the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of
Illinois in an effort to stop any investigation into the co-conspirators and
Governor Rod Blagojevich Criminal Complaint
December 9, 2008
“Cari testified that he eventually became involved in the attempted extortion
of JER, a real estate investment firm that was seeking an investment from the
Teachers Retirement System (“TRS”). Details regarding corruption at TRS
involving one of its board members, Stuart Levine, are set forth below. Based
on his conversations with ROD BLAGOJEVICH, Rezko, Kelly, and Levine, in which
he was informed that consultants would be inserted into State of Illinois
transactions and then solicited for campaign contributions, Cari believed that
JER needed to hire a consultant. Cari testified that he informed employees of
JER that they needed to hire a consultant and that in Illinois the “Governor
and the people around the Governor” pick the consultants to be used on
particular deals. Cari informed JER employees that if they did not hire the
consultant then JER would not receive the money it was seeking from the State
of Illinois. Ultimately, JER exposed the attempted extortion and received money
from the State of Illinois.”
“Levine originally was appointed to the TRS Board in 2000. By the summer of 2001,
Levine, working in concert with William Cellini, who had a significant interest
in a real estate asset management firm that had a long-standing business
relationship with TRS, had established effective control over the TRS board by
forming and maintaining a group of TRS trustees who consistently voted together
on matters important to Cellini and Levine.”
“Levine testified that among the steps Cellini took to ingratiate himself with
ROD BLAGOJEVICH was raising considerable money for ROD BLAGOJEVICH.”
“As set forth more fully in the following paragraphs, Levine and Cellini, in order
to keep their control over TRS, agreed to an accommodation with Rezko and Kelly
that Rezko and Kelly would use their influence with ROD BLAGOJEVICH to stop the
consolidation of TRS with other pension boards and, in exchange, Levine and Cellini
would assist investment firms named by Rezko and Kelly to receive TRS money because
those investment firms had made or would make political contributions to ROD
One getting their primary information from the MSM could easily get the impression
that Rod Blagojevich is being investigated primarily for trying to sell the US
Senate seat vacated by Obama and that Obama is innocent of all wrongdoing. However,
the truth of the matter is that Blagojevich has been under investigation for many
months and that he and Obama have long time close ties to crime and corruption in
Chicago and Illinois. There is so much damaging material about Blagojevich that
Patrick Fitzgerald requested a 90 day extension to prepare an indictment. The
Citizen Wells blog predicted months ago that Blagojevich would be indicted and
that Barack Obama would be indicted shortly thereafter.
It is clear that Patrick Fitgerald has been working his way up the job title chain
and that Barack Obama is next.
US Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts, US Department
of Justice, Patrick Fitzgerald, we have a president elect
that is not eligible and should already have been indicted.
Are you going to do your job and protect this country or is
it too late.