Blagojevich witness arrested for shoplifting

Awitness in the trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been arrested for shoplifting at a Home Depot store, according to articles in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Rajinder Bedi, 58, was allegedly seen by employees at the North Lincoln Home Depot store in Chicago concealing items valued at $166. Given the total value of the merchandise, Bedi may be charged with felony retail theft, which has a $150 threshold.

Bedi, who once held the position of managing director of the state's Office of Trade and Investment in Blagojevich's administration, testified under immunity in July about the ex-governor's alleged efforts to sell President Obama's former Senate seat.

Prosecutors said Bedi met with Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and a major Jackson fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, at a Chicago restaurant. At the meeting, Nayak promised to raise $1 million for Blagojevich if he appointed Jackson to the Senate seat, prosecutors said.

Blagojevich was convicted of lying to the FBI last summer, but the jury deadlocked on other counts. His retrial is scheduled to start next year.

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