Rod Blagojevich Fundraiser Arrested, Charged With Fraud

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich fundraiser and wealthy businessman Raghuveer Nayak has been arrested for allegedly paying kickbacks to doctors who referred patients to his Chicago-area outpatient surgery centers.

Nayak was taken into custody by the FBI this morning at his home in Oak Brook, Illinois.

A 19-count federal grand jury indictment apparently charges Nayak with mail fraud, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and filing false income tax returns.

The Chicago Tribune reports that “Between 2000 and 2010, Nayak allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to physicians who would refer patients to Nayak’s medical centers.”

Although never charged in the Rod Blagojevich investigation or called to testify at the former governor’s corruption trial, Nayak evidently bundled campaign cash for Democrats such as Blagojevich and Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times

The Sun-Times had reported in 2010 that Nayak — who was a close Jackson family friend and campaign contributor — had told federal authorities Jackson directed him to approach the Blagojevich camp with a $6 million fund-raising offer in exchange for a Senate appointment for Jackson.

Last December, Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in jail after being found guilty of multiple “pay for play” corruption charges, including attempting to sell that open Senate seat of Barack Obama upon his election to the presidency. He had been previously impeached and removed from office by the Illinois legislature. Blagojevich reported to prison in March and under federal guidelines will have to serve at least 85% of his sentence.

Rod Blagojevich was a contestant on season three of The Celebrity Apprentice (2010) but was fired in part because had no idea how to use a computer. Presumably he’s brushing up on his IT skills while behind bars.