CHICAGO - A federal jury yesterday found businessman Antoin Rezko guilty on 16 of 24 counts stemming from charges that he used his influence as an adviser and fundraiser for Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to seek kickbacks in exchange for state investment business for his own benefit or to funnel into campaign coffers.

The jury reached its verdict after 13 days of deliberations following a nine-week trial before U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve during which testimony arose alleging that the governor awarded a campaign contributor, Ali Ata, with the job of executive director of the newly created Illinois Finance Authority in 2004. The governor is not charged with any wrongdoing but he is referred to repeatedly in federal documents as Public Official A.

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