Blagojevich fundraiser sentenced to 2 years
February 10, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Raghuveer Nayak, wealthy fundraiser for convicted politicians Jesse Jackson Jr. and Rod Blagojevich, will join the disgraced pair behind bars, a federal judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman sentenced the 58-year-old multi-millionaire to two years in prison for running a decade-long healthcare scam, the Sun-Times is reporting.
Nayak paid doctors bribes to refer patients to surgery centers he owned. But his case attracted wider interest because of his alleged role in Jackson's alleged attempt to buy President Obama's former Senate seat from Blagojevich in 2008.
Nayak was "the bribe guy" who offered to pay the bribe to secure the seat for Jackson, prosecutors alleged at Blagojevich's second trial.
Once an insider whose deep pockets politicos leaned on, Nayak, a pharmacist and surgery center owner from Oak Brook, cut a desperate figure in court Monday.
His lawyer, Thomas McQueen, told Gettleman that Nayak has had a "downward spiral into alcoholism" since his indictment.
And Nayak himself told the judge, "I just want to die," saying he was so "scared of the government" that he was "scared to drink a cup of coffee" in case he breaks any more laws.
Nayak, who once picked up a $7,500 unpaid tab for a Blagojevich fundraiser, and more notably, paid to fly a "social acquaintance" of Jackson across the country at the congressman's request, faced up to 23 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.
Prosecutors, though, suggested a sentence of up to six years was appropriate.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire - Copyright Chicago Sun-Times 2014.)
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