Illinois Powerbroker Sentenced to Just Over Year in Prison

Oct 4, 2012

A judge in Chicago has sentenced William Cellini to a year and a day in prison. A federal jury convicted Cellini in November of conspiring to shake down the Oscar-winning producer of "Million Dollar Baby" for a contribution to imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign.

Prosecutors previously filed a sentencing memorandum in Cellini's case arguing for a "meaningful" prison sentence and contends giving him probation would "send exactly the wrong signal."

The 77-year-old Cellini earlier this year suffered a blood clot, just weeks after he had a heart attack.

Support for Cellini

Judge James Zagel said more than 360 letters  sent on Cellini's behalf before sentencing was largest number he had ever seen.  Zagel also ordered a 2-year term of supervised release. Cellini has been ordered to report to prison on Jan. 4, 2013

Previous Related Articles

WBEZ: "The Most Influential Illinoisan You Don't Know: Bill Cellini" 10/3/11

Chicago Tribune: "Six Degrees of Bill Cellini" 10/5/11

CBS Chicago: "Painting of Cellini and Lincoln to Stay at Springfield Museum" 11/2/11

State Journal-Register: "Bill Cellini Treated for Blood Clot" 6/26/12

WICS: "Cellini: From Powerful to Powerless" 10/4/12

Sun-Times: "Cellini Sentence Another Step Forward for Honest Government" 10/4/12

U.S. Department of Justice:  Summary of Selected Matters:  Public Corruption