CHICAGO, July 2 (UPI) -- Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his wife, Patti, were addicted to high-end clothing, spending $400,000 in seven years, a witness testified.
Shari Schindler, an agent with the Internal Revenue Service, said Blagojevich paid more than $200,000 to Oxxford, a Chicago tailoring company with a global reputation and prices to match, the Chicago Tribune reported. She told the jury Thursday in August 2008 the Blagojeviches owed $90,000 on their credit cards and $220,000 on a home-equity loan.
Federal prosecutors say his debts sent Blagojevich into a panic, making him determined to cash in where he could -- including using his power to appoint Barack Obama's replacement in the U.S. Senate. The jury heard a taped conversation in which Blagojevich complained of needing money to send his daughters to college, saying he was "screwing" them.
Other witnesses testified developer Antoin "Tony" Rezko made payments to Patti Blagojevich that were essentially payoffs. A former executive at Rezko's firm, Rezmar, said in 2003, he was told to fix up the paperwork to justify paying her a $15,000 commission.