Newest Rezko Victim: Las Vegas Casinos

By Justin Rood

May 29, 2008 10:59am

There’s more bad news this morning for Sen. Barack Obama’s erstwhile fundraiser, and personal real estate advisor, Antoin Rezko: he’s wanted in Nevada.

As a federal grand jury in Chicago mulls Rezko’s guilt or innocence on corruption-related charges, a Las Vegas judge has issued a felony arrest warrant for him.  Turns out he owes over $800,000 in gambling debt to Caesars Palace, Bally’s and the Bellagio, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

A onetime entrepreneur, Rezko apparently managed to dig himself quite a financial hole.  In January, Rezko told a federal judge he was in debt by $50 million.  It is not clear if that figure included the casino debts.

Obama, the likely Democratic White House nominee, has acknowledged that it was a mistake to invite Rezko in 2005 to tour a Chicago-area house whose purchase the lawmaker was considering, and that the mistake was compounded by involving Rezko in the home purchase when he purchased an adjoining lot from the home’s sellers at the same time Obama purchased the house.

Rezko was also a major fundraiser for Obama, ginning up roughly $250,000 for his state and federal election campaigns, much of which Obama’s campaign has since given to charity.

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