Ali Ata pleads not guilty

Ali D. Ata, 55, leaves the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse after pleading not guilty to a fraud charge that accuses him of misusing his post to benefit indicted businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko. He was charged with aiding and abetting Rezko in a wire-fraud scheme. Rezko allegedly used bogus information to obtain a loan as part of a sham sale of pizza franchises he owned in Illinois and Wisconsin, prosecutors charged. Ata was accused of writing a letter that falsely made it appear the buyer intended to finance the restaurant deal through the Illinois Finance Authority.
Tribune photo by Chuck Berman
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