I would have told the FEDS to BLOW ME! They used this self admitted dick smoking drug using homo to put two giant kingpins in prison and they still gave him 67 months in Club Fed at 66 years old??? FUCK YOU FEDS!Stuart Levine — who admitted his role in the corruption scandal that sent former Gov. Rod Blagojevich & Ald. Edward R. Vrdolyak to prison and provided key testimony against Blagojevich insiders — was sentenced Thursday to 67 months in prison.
Levine expressed his “profound remorse and deep regret for all that I have done.”
“I wish to express my deepest regret to the people of Illinois,” said Levine, who maintained his composure during his apology, though his voice cracked briefly when he mentioned his children.
In sentencing Levine, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve called him one of the “most corrupt politicians” in northern Illinois.
“The havoc that you wreaked is certainly substantial,” she told him.
But St. Eve also said Levine was the most “valuable” of cooperating witnesses and said he seemed to move beyond the “arrogance” he displayed on the witness stand.
Levine is to surrender on Sept. 27 to begin serving his sentence.
He pleaded guilty in 2006 to his part in a scheme with Blagojevich campaign fund-raiser and adviser Tony Rezko to solicit kickbacks.
Levine admitted he lined his pockets by abusing his position on powerful state boards and commissions, although he was never elected to public office.
But after being caught, his testimony helped convict several other Blagojevich insiders. The millionaire-turned-shopping mall salesman testified for prosecutors during the corruption trials of Rezko and Springfield businessman William Cellini, a longtime behind-the-scenes power broker in Illinois government.
Levine entered his guilty plea in hopes of getting a 5½-year prison term and got just about that.
Based on his guilty plea to mail fraud and money laundering charges, he faced a possible sentence as long as life in prison.
During the trials of Rezko and Cellini, Levine admitted he used narcotics for decades and engaged in homosexual orgies with other high power Illinois politicians. He also described cheating a deceased friend’s estate out of $2 million.
Levine was a Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois board member.
In court Thursday, Assistant U. S. Attorney Chris Niewoehner called Levine’s cooperation of “most value” in public corruption cases.
Had Levine not stepped forward, Blagojevich might not have been pursued for his crimes, the prosecutor said.
Levine’s attorney, Jeffrey Steinback, said his client’s embarrassing revelations came at a great cost.
“His sense of guilt and shame overwhelmed him,” and his self-loathing followed him like a “shadow,” Steinback said.
Levine, 66, “has embraced humility,” said Steinback, who quoted philosophers and a Shakespearean sonnet to show how much his client has transformed.
“This is a good man who did terrible things,” Steinback said after the hearing.
Levine went from having a private jet to fly him to hob nob with Washington D.C. movers and shakers to not having enough money for gas, Steinback said in court.
Once just worried about himself, Levine now cares so much for others, he tries to make sure smokers quit their unhealthy habit, Steinback said.
“He prays every day for leniency — not for leniency but for forgiveness and redemption ...and to think of others before himself,” the attorney said.
Steinback said Levine had been suicidal at one point and also said there had been what he termed a credible threat against Levine as he worked with the feds.
Although it was a solemn day for Levine, he now has a feeling of general relief, Steinback said.
“People change and it’s possible and it happened in Stuart’s case. But it didn’t happen with any great ease. There were years of counseling, therapy and genuine commitment to try to deal with his own demons,” he said.