SEPTEMBER 22, 2009
Weeks after being arrested for a separate crime, the shady Iranian fundraiser who has donated huge sums to top Democrats—including the president, vice president and secretary of state—has been charged with defrauding several banks out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Less than a month ago investment banker Hassan Nemazee had Democratic leaders (Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton among them) scrambling to return tainted money amid fraud charges for lying about his assets to get a $74 million bank loan. Federal prosecutors say Namazee committed fraud by using forged documents listing fake accounts with collateral worth hundreds of millions of dollars to obtain the loan.
This week Nemazee was indicted for defrauding three financial institutions out of nearly $300 million in loan proceeds. Similar to the first case, prosecutors say Nemazee falsified documents and signatures to purportedly show he had hundreds of millions of dollars worth of collateral. He used the proceeds to donate big bucks to the campaigns of federal, state and local candidates.
For nearly a decade Nemazee has been a key figure in Democratic fundraising circles, donating and gathering hundreds of thousands of dollars for the party’s most high-profile candidates and serving as national finance chairman of Hillary Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential campaign as well as John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
He went on to raise more than half a million dollars for Obama after Clinton’s primary defeat and donated the maximum ($50,000) allowed to the new president’s inauguration committee. Less than a year ago Nemazee hosted a $28,500-a-head fundraiser for Obama in his luxurious Upper East Side New York penthouse.
It turns out that, for more than a decade, Nemazee projected the illusion of wealth by stealing more than $290 million, according to federal prosecutors. This allowed him to lead a lavish lifestyle and play the part of heavyweight political fundraiser, they say. Now he faces three decades in jail not to mention serious ditching by the politicians who gladly took his money over the years.
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