Prosecution Rests in Cellini Case

Say they tried to extort Million Dollar Baby producer

Thursday, Oct 20, 2011  |  Updated 5:53 PM CDT
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Prosecution Rests in Cellini Case

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Prosecuted have rested their case in the last of a series of trials to grow out a federal investigation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Government attorneys told jurors Thursday afternoon that they had finished presenting evidence in the shakedown trial of long-time Illinois powerbroker William Cellini.

They called more than a half-dozen witnesses over two weeks as they sought to prove Cellini conspired to extort the Oscar-winning producer of "Million Dollar Baby" for a $1.5 million campaign contribution to Blagojevich.

Star government witness and alleged co-conspirator Stuart Levine testified for six days. The convicted fraudster and admitted former drug addict was the only witness to claim direct knowledge of Cellini's involvement.

The alleged shakedown target, Thomas Rosenberg, was among the last government witnesses.

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