CHICAGO (AP) -- Joseph Aramanda said Wednesday he needed the loan to prop up restaurants he bought from Blagojevich fundraiser and convicted fixer Tony Rezko.
Prosecutors claim Blagojevich and his inner circle steered a $10 billion bond deal to a company Robert Kjellander (shuh-LAN'-der) lobbied for. They say that generated a fee for Kjellander, who then loaned money to Aramanda in what amounted to a kickback. Aramanda said Kjellander never told him anything like that.
Kjellander has not been accused of wrongdoing. Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to scheming to sell President Obama's former Senate seat and plotting to launch a racketeering conspiracy.