Cellini Found Guilty of Conspiracy and Bribery

By WEEK Producer

November 1, 2011 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 2:10 AM CDT

Chicago, Ill -- In Chicago, jurors Tuesday found Springfield millionaire William Cellini guilty of conspiracy to commit extortion and aiding and abetting bribery.

The same jury found Cellini not guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and attempted extortion.

Cellini was accused of conspiring with three other men to shake down the producer of "Million Dollar Baby" for a $1.5 million campaign contribution to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Cellini could face up to twenty years in prison for the extortion charge and up to10 years for solicitation of a bribe.

"We obviously are going to appeal,and based on our assessment of the case, we are confident that we have a substantial chance in getting the case reversed on appeal," says Defense Attorney Dan Webb.

Webb had special scorn for the Government's start witness --Stuart Levine --who Webb characterized as "a whack job".

Levine is an admitted liar and con man who says he was a drug addict for thirty years.