CHICAGO — A federal judge sentenced former Illinois powerbroker William Cellini to a year in prison Thursday for conspiring to shake down a movie producer, capping off the last trial to stem from the investigation of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Cellini, 77, was once known to political insiders as the King of Clout for his behind-the-scenes influence in state government. The multimillionaire businessman was convicted last year for his role in trying to get a $1.5 million campaign contribution for Blagojevich from Thomas Rosenberg, the Oscar-winning producer of "Million Dollar Baby," in exchange for state business.

Judge James Zagel's sentence of one year and one day in prison was more than the probation defense attorneys sought but far less than the 6 1/2- to eight years in prison recommended by prosecutors. Zagel said he took into account Cellini's poor health, including a heart attack he had in June. The judge also fined Cellini $75,000.

"This was a series of extremely unwise decisions," Zagel said in sentencing Cellini. However, he also noted Cellini's acts of charity and said the 364 letters he received from Cellini supporters was more than he'd ever seen for anyone.

Defense attorneys described Cellini's numerous health problems, including blood clots that he's had and is at risk for having in the future.

"Mr. Cellini is in the twilight of his life," defense attorney Dan Webb told Zagel.

Both sides asked the judge to take Cellini's health into account, but prosecutors said the conviction still warranted prison time because public officials were involved.

"His crimes are very significant," said federal prosecutor Julie Porter. "If you violate the public's trust by working corruptly behind the scenes ... you are going to go to jail."

Cellini took notes during the hearing and sat at times with his eyes closed. He read from a short statement, thanking friends and family for their support and telling the judge he didn't think he had long to live. He asked for probation but also said he took responsibility for his actions.

"My family and I suffered greatly over these past five years," he said, referring to his legal problems. Members of his family sitting in the courtroom wiped tears.

Cellini doesn't have to report to prison until Jan. 4, and the judge said he did that to give Cellini more time deal with his health problems.

Cellini left court Thursday without speaking to reporters. His defense attorneys said they were disappointed in the sentence and were considering an appeal of his conviction.

Cellini, a Springfield Republican, was appointed Illinois transportation secretary in the early 1970s. He then used his state connections to help earn tens of millions from real estate, casino and other ventures.

Despite his wealth and influence, Cellini maintained a low profile and rarely spoke in public. It was his association with Blagojevich that drew him into legal peril.

Cellini was one of more than a dozen people ensnared by the decadelong investigation into Blagojevich. The ousted governor was sentenced last year to 14 years in prison on corruption charges, including allegations that he sought to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat. The Chicago Democrat began serving his sentence at a federal prison in Colorado in March.

Webb noted that Cellini wouldn't have pocketed any money from the shakedown of Rosenberg. Instead, prosecutors contend he saw it as a chance to further ingratiate himself with those in power.

Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro called Cellini one of the "principal movers and shakers in the corruption" that "pervaded Springfield."

But Shapiro said he doesn't expect this to be the end of corruption in Illinois.

"I'd like to think we're never going to be prosecuting corrupt Illinois politicians again," Shapiro told reporters after the hearing. "But I'd be insane to make that prediction."

___

Follow Sophia Tareen at . http://twitter.com/sophiatareen

__

Associated Press Writer Sara Burnett contributed to this report.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • William Beavers

    Former Cook County Commissioner William Beavers speaks at a news conference after being sentenced on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, in a Chicago federal courtroom. Beavers, 78, was sentenced to six months in prison for tax evasion. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • Ambrosio Medrano

    FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2003 file photo, former Chicago alderman Ambrosio Medrano is seen in Chicago. A jury convicted Medrano on Monday, June 17, 2013 of a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery. He faced federal charges accusing him of paying bribes he was told would be given to a Los Angeles official in order to secure a lucrative contract. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

  • Jesse Jackson Jr., Sandi Jackson

    Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife and former Chicago alderman Sandi leave the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, after Jackson entered a guilty plea to criminal charges that he engaged in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items. Sandi pleaded guilty to a related tax fraud charge. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • Isaac Carothers

    Chicago Alderman Isaac Carothers, chairman of the Chicago City Council's police and fire committee, leaves federal court after his arraignment in Chicago, Monday, June 8, 2009. Carothers pleaded not guilty to charges that he took home repairs worth $40,000 plus campaign contributions and sports tickets in exchange for fixing a zoning case. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • Ed Vrdolyak

    Ed Vrdolyak pled guilty in 2008 to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud. Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro sits between Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, right, and Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Vrdolyak during a rally in Chicago's Daley Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1984. Washington and Vrdolyak are the leaders of opposing groups that have been fighting for power in Chicago City Council since Washington took office in 1983. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)

  • Rod Blagojevich

    In this Dec. 7, 2011 file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to reporters as his wife Patti looks on at the federal building in Chicago after being sentenced for 14 years on 18 corruption counts. On Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, U.S. District Judge James Zagel agreed to allow Blagojevich to report to prison March 15. He previously was ordered to begin on Feb. 16. Zagel also agreed to recommend that Blagojevich be sent to the Englewood prison in Colorado. Federal prison officials have the final say. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

  • George Ryan

    In this April 17, 2006 file photo, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, accompanied by his son George H. Ryan Jr., right, leaves Chicago's federal courthouse after being convicted of racketeering and fraud charges. As Illinois taxpayers look down the barrel of a major income tax increase, another tax is already draining their wallets. It's the "corruption tax" _ the extra money that Illinois residents end up paying because of dishonest public officials. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • James Laski

    Former Chicago city clerk James Laski, right, stands by as his attorney, Jeffrey Steinback, holds a news conference at federal court after a sentencing hearing in Chicago, Tuesday, June 13, 2006. A federal judge sentenced Laski to two years in prison for taking bribes to get companies's work in the city's scandal-plagued Hired Truck Program. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)

  • Otto Kerner

    Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner was convicted on 17 counts of bribery, conspiracy, perjury and related charges in 1973. Kerner, foreground, and New York Mayor John Lindsay report on current and future activities of the President's Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. The chairman and vice chairman respectively met with reporters in Washington DC on October 6, 1967. (AP Photo/Bob Daughtery)

  • Dan Walker

    Former Illinois Gov. Dan Walker walks through the federal courthouse in Chicago on Aug. 5, 1987, after his indictment on charges of bank fraud, misapplication of bank funds and perjury were announced. Walker, who served as governor from 1973 to 1977, was in court to enter a plea of guilty on the charges, and had agreed to cooperate fully with the investigation according to U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas. (AP Photo/Mark Elias)

  • Tony Rezko

    In this June 4, 2008 file photo, former top fundraiser for ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Antoin "Tony" Rezko returns to the federal courthouse for the reading of the jury's verdict in his corruption trial in Chicago. A federal judge today sentenced Rezko to serve seven more years in prison on top of the 31/2 years he has already served while awaiting sentencing Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

  • William Cellini

    In this April 16, 2009 file photo, Springfield, Ill., power broker William Cellini leaves federal court in Chicago. Cellini was indicted on charges of fraud and extortion conspiracy and attempted extortion in connection with a plan with Antoin "Tony" Rezko and others to block a Hollywood producer's real estate investment company from getting $220 million in teachers pension money to invest unless the producer contributed to Blagojevich. His indictment was one of many that happened before the investigation into wrongdoing by the former governor. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

  • Stuart Levine

    In this Oct. 27, 2006 file photo, millionaire political campaign contributor Stuart Levine is seen leaving federal court in Chicago. Levine pleaded guilty in October 2006 to fraud and money laundering in the Antoin "Tony" Rezko schemes and was the government's top witness against Rezko. His conviction was one of many that happened before the investigation into wrongdoing by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

  • John Harris

    In this Dec. 9, 2008 file photo, John Harris, a former top aide to ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich, leaves the federal building in Chicago after his arrest on corruption charges. Harris, who pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and is awaiting sentencing, is one of the many convictions before the investigation of wrongdoing by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

  • Dan Rostenkowski

    Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Chicago, talks to reporters during an appearance Thursday, Nov. 3, 1994 in Chicago. Rostenkowski, the once-mighty symbol of Washington power whose fraud case has made him a target of the term-limits campaign, admits "there's cloud hanging over me now" and asks voters for another chance in the election on November 8. He later pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud. He was fined and sentenced to 17 months in prison and was pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 2000. (AP Photo/John Zich)

  • Arenda Troutman

    Chicago alderman Arenda Troutman speaks during a City Council meeting in this Sept. 27, 2006, file photo. Troutman, voted out of her 20th Ward seat in February 2007, was indicted Wednesday, July 11, 2007, on 13 additional counts including extortion, bribery, mail fraud and income tax evasion. Troutman was originally charged in January 2007, and pleaded not guilty, to one count of bribery for allegedly taking $10,000 in payoffs from a developer who also was working as an FBI mole. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • Betty Loren-Maltese

    Betty Loren-Maltese leaves the Federal Courthouse in Chicago Thursday, Jan. 9, 2003, after she was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for fraud that swindled the town of Cicero, Ill. out of $12 million. Loren-Maltese was also fined $100,000, ordered to pay more than $8 million in restitution, and must forfeit $3.25 million in assets. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Arthur "Ron" Swanson

    Arthur "Ron" Swanson, a former Illinois state senator and lobbyist, arrives at federal court in Chicago, Tuesday, July 11, 2006, for his sentencing after pleading guilty to perjury charges. Swanson was placed on probation for two years and fined $20,000 for lying to a grand jury investigating corruption in former Gov. George Ryan's administration. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • James Duff

    Chicago businessman James Duff gets into a car outside federal court in Chicago, Wednesday, May 18, 2005, after being sentenced to almost 10 years in federal prison for defrauding the city and a group of insurance companies. Duff was also ordered to pay more than $22 million in forfeitures and restitution for a racketeering scheme that included lying to get lucrative city contracts set aside for minorities and women. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • Virgil Jones

    Chicago Alderman Virgil Jones is searched by security as he enters the federal building in Chicago Wednesday, Jan. 27, 1999, for his extortion conspiracy trial. Jones, 49, was found guilty Thursday, Jan. 28, of accepting $7,000 to allow admittedly corrupt contractor to operate a rock crusher in his 15th Ward on Chicago's South Side. He is the fifth City Council member to be convicted in the federal government's Operation Silver Shovel payoff investigation. (AP Photo/Charles Bennett)

  • Scott Fawell

    Scott Fawell, left, leaves the federal courthouse in Chicago with his attorney, Edward Genson, right, after Fawell, a top aide to former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, was found guilty on all counts by a federal court jury Wednesday, March 19, 2003, of corruption charges stemming from the eight years Ryan was Illinois secretary of state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

  • Julie Starsiak

    Julie Starsiak leaves federal court, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004, in Chicago after pleading guilty to lying to federal agents about bid-rigging. Authorities say Starsiak also promised to cooperate in the ongoing investigation of corruption under former Illinois Governor George Ryan. Starsiak was a vice president at a firm run by powerful lobbyist Al Ronan. (AP Photo/Stephen J. Carrera)

  • Nicholas B. Blase

    Nicholas B. Blase, left, longtime mayor of Niles, Ill., listens as his attorney, Harvey M. Silets, speaks to reporters after Blase was charged in federal court with taking payoffs to steer customers to a friend's insurance agency, Thursday, June 8, 2006, in Chicago. Agents from the FBI took Blase, the mayor of the 30,000-resident community in north suburban Chicago for the past 45 years, into custody Thursday on his 78th birthday. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

  • Robert Sorich

    Robert Sorich, former patronage chief to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, leaves federal court with his attorney Thomas Anthony Durkin, left, in Chicago after he was convicted of two counts of mail fraud in a scheme to load the city payroll with campaign workers in defiance of a federal court order. Daley has not been charged with any wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Al Sanchez

    Former Chicago Streets and Sanitation commissioner Al Sanchez enters federal court Wednesday, March 4, 2009, in Chicago where he has been charged with taking part in a scheme to falsify city hiring documents to make it appear that jobs and promotions were being awarded on the basis of merit when they were actually granted based on politics. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • Calvin Boender

    In this photo taken Thursday, March 4, 2010, developer Calvin Boender leaves federal court after a hearing in Chicago. Trial is scheduled to begin Monday, March 8 for Boender who is charged with bribing an alderman to get a zoning change. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and as many as 10 City Council members may be called to the witness stand at the corruption trial (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • John Briatta

    Former Chicago city worker John Briatta arrives at federal court in Chicago Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006, where he pleaded guilty to taking at least $5,400 in bribes to get trucks into Chicago's corruption-plagued Hired Truck Program. Briatta is the brother-in-law of Cook County Commissioner John Daley, the mayor's brother. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

  • Daniel Katalinic

    Daniel Katalinic, former deputy commissioner of streets and sanitation, leaves Chicago's federal building Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005, after he pleaded guilty in a patronage hiring fraud case. In pleading guilty, Katalinic said he knew court orders in requiring merit hiring of city employees were being violated and agreed to help prosecutors in their investigation of hiring fraud in Mayor Richard M. Daley's get-out-the-vote operation. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

  • Patrick Slattery

    Patrick Slattery, left, a former Chicago city official, leaves federal court in Chicago Tuesday, July 26, 2005, with his attorney, Patrick Blegen, after a judge refused to throw out a corruption charge against Slattery, a former city official accused of lying about the qualifications of job applicants with political clout to help them get positions in Chicago's department of streets and sanitation. Slattery and another offical, Robert Sorich, were charged Monday, July 20, with rigging the city's hiringprocess to get around a ban on political patronage abuses. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)