Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ex-Muhammad Ali manager and alleged Rezko victim dies

The former manager for boxing great Muhammad Ali, Jabir Muhammad, died yesterday afternoon in Chicago at the age of 79. He was the son of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad.

Last year Muhammad was in the news when the Chicago Sun-Times reported Muhammad's claim that since-convicted political fixer Antoin "Tony" Rezko swindled Muhammad out of his home.

"He embezzled me" is what Muhammad told the newspaper.

Rezko denies the charge. He later sold the home to Dr. Paul S. Ray, one of his business associates who is also the chairman of the urology department at Stroger Hospital, which is better known by its old name, Cook County Hospital. Last summer Ray asked Muhammad to move out. He never did.

In 1984, Rezko went to work for Crucial Concessions, which was then owned by Muhammad. Years later the same company, by then Rezko owned 45 percent of it--owned two Panda Express restaurants at O'Hare Airport. In 2005 the City of Chicago accused Crucial of being a minority "front" business; Crucial got its prime airport locations because it was listed as a minority business--Muhammad owned 55 percent of Crucial. Rather than fight the city's charge, the restaurants closed a few months later.

Once again, Barack Obama was silent about this skulduggery. I bet the late Mr. Muhammad noticed that.

The City of Chicago's investigation of Crucial was widely reported by the local media in March, 2005. Why is this important? Three months later, the Obamas and Rezko's wife closed the real estate deal that allowed the future Democratic first couple to purchase their mansion on Chicago's South Side.

Obama didn't know?

Related posts:

Rezko flashback: Tony the affirmative action swindler

Nation of Islam founder's son on Rezko: "He embezzled me"

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