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Developer linked to Obama arrested

  • Story Highlights
  • Tony Rezko arrested at Chicago-area home
  • Rezko indicted on conspiracy, influence-peddling charges
  • Obama says he worked five hours for Rezko, bought land from him
  • Obama denies wrongdoing, says he returned money linked to Rezko
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CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Indicted real estate developer and political fundraiser Tony Rezko, whose links to Sen. Barack Obama have brought his name into the national spotlight, was arrested Monday morning, an FBI spokesman said.

Rezko was taken into custody by the FBI at his Wilmette, Illinois, home just outside Chicago following a government motion to revoke his bond, said FBI spokesman Tom Simon.

Rezko -- whom Sen. Hillary Clinton referred to in a debate as having run a "slum landlord business" -- has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy, influence peddling and demanding kickbacks from companies seeking Illinois state business.

Obama, speaking Sunday to ABC's "This Week," described Rezko as "a friend of mine, a supporter, who I've known for 20 years."

Rezko has contributed to the campaigns of numerous Democrats, including Obama -- though the Illinois senator has vowed to give up all funds connected to Rezko.

Obama has already given to charity more than $80,000 in campaign contributions linked to Rezko.

When asked about news reports suggesting he may have received more money than that connected to Rezko, Obama said, "What we've done is we've traced any funds that we know of that we think were connected to him. And if there any other funds that were connected to him that we're not aware of, then we will certainly return them. It's in our interest to do so."

Obama said in a debate that as an attorney he did just about five hours of work for a Rezko project. Obama has not been accused of any legal wrongdoing.

"I did make a mistake by purchasing a small strip of property from him, at a time where, at that point, he was under the cloud of a potential investigation," Obama told ABC Sunday.

Shortly after his election to the U.S. Senate, Obama bought a house for $300,000 below the asking price. The same day, Rezko's wife bought the lot next door for full price. Months later, Obama bought a sliver of the Rezko land to expand his yard.

As a state senator, Obama wrote letters supporting some Rezko deals.

Obama told ABC Sunday he has "provided all the information that's out there" about his involvement with Rezko. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Drew Griffin contributed to this report.

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