Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bankruptcy may be Rezko's next battle

Democratic political insider Antoin "Tony" Rezko is undoubtedly having a tense week--save for the closing arguments, his trial is over, and a jury of twelve men and women will decide his fate--guilty or innocent. The waiting game must be painful for him.

In addition to another trial, that one regards his sale of his pizza business, Rezko has another worry--a neighbor with whom Rezko has done business with is trying to force the accused political fixer into bankruptcy.

From the Chicago Tribune, free registration may be required:

A Wilmette businessman who testified last week against political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko at his federal corruption trial sought Thursday to force Rezko's bankruptcy over his failure to repay more than $18 million.

The court filing is expecting to result in other Rezko creditors calling for the appointment of a trustee who would have the authority to liquidate Rezko's assets.

Rezko has the right to challenge the bankruptcy, but such fights can be costly and difficult to win for someone with huge debts. Rezko's attorneys couldn't be reached for comment. Rezko has been in talks with a Chicago bankruptcy firm in the past, according to records and interviews, but he has not sought relief from creditors in the bankruptcy court.

Attempting to force Rezko's financial hand Thursday was Semir Sirazi, his neighbor, who said in the filing that he and two of his corporations are owed $18 million.

Up above is how Rezko's mansion, which hosted a crucial Barack Obama fundraiser in 2003, looked last week. In 2006 the Chicago Sun-Times reported that LaSalle Bank, which was acquired by the Bank of America last year, moved to foreclose on that North Shore jewel.

And Rezko's money troubles don't end there.

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