Michael Milken, the junk-bond financier of the 1980s, was one of a number of people pardoned by President Donald Trump.
Milken in 1990 pleaded guilty to racketeering and securities fraud and was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $600 million fine. The prison term was reduced to two years after he cooperated with federal investigators.
Milken, 73, was also banned for life from working in the securities industry.
Trump cited the "incredible job” that Milken has done in supporting cancer research since his conviction.
Milken was one of 11 people Trump pardoned on Tuesday. Trump commuted the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who in 2010 was a contestant on Trump’s “The Apprentice” reality-TV show.
Blagojevich was convicted of attempting to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. He began serving a 14-year sentence in 2013.
Trump had hinted that he would consider a pardon after Blagojevich formally requested one nearly two years ago.
“Illinoisans have endured far too much corruption, and we must send a message to politicians that corrupt practices will no longer be tolerated,” current Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement.
“President Trump has abused his pardon power in inexplicable ways to reward his friends and condone corruption, and I deeply believe this pardon sends the wrong message at the wrong time.”
Last August, Trump said that he was "thinking very seriously about commuting [Blagojevich's] sentence" because he was "treated very, very unfairly."
The full list of pardoned individuals includes:
- Former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.
- Michael Milken
- Rod Blagojevich
- Entrepreneur Ariel Friedler
- Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik
- Construction magnate Paul Pogue
- Former government official David Safavian
- Author Angela Stanton
- Tynice Nichole Hall
- Crystal Munoz
- Judith Negron