Rezko is a Syrian immigrant who rose to power inside Chicago, becoming a well-known "slumlord" and a player in Illinois politics. He was convicted in June of 16 counts of corruption. According to the charges, Rezko ripped off $6 million from the state of Illinois through kickbacks while working for the administration of current Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
In 1995, when Obama ran for a seat in the Illinois Senate, Rezko, through two of his companies, donated thousands of dollars to the Obama campaign. Ironically, Obama won the election in a district that included 11 of Rezko's 30 low-income housing projects.
Still, Rezko and Obama had more than just a political relationship. In 2005, when Rezko was under federal investigation for influence peddling, Obama and Rezko's wife, Rita, bought adjacent pieces of property from a Chicago doctor.