MARCH 19, 2010
The shady Iranian fundraiser who for years donated lucrative sums to top Democrats—including the president, vice president and secretary of state—has pleaded guilty to a major bank-fraud scheme that could land him in jail for nearly two decades.
Disgraced Democratic money man Hassan Nemazee admitted this week that he defrauded three financial institutions out of nearly $300 million in loan proceeds by falsifying documents and signatures to show he had hundreds of millions of dollars worth of collateral. The Ivy League-educated crook then used the proceeds to donate big bucks to the campaigns of federal, state and local candidates.
Among them are some of the nation’s best known and most powerful Democrats, including Secretary of State and former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Nemazee was actually the national finance chairman of Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential campaign as well as John Kerry’s in 2004.
The corrupt “investment banker” 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.
When Nemazee was criminally charged last fall, top Democrats scrambled to return his tainted money and there is plenty floating around the coffers of the party’s elite. For nearly a decade Nemazee was a key figure in Democratic fundraising circles, donating and gathering hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nemazee was so well-connected that in the late 1990s Bill Clinton nominated him to be a U.S. ambassador in Argentina though the position never materialized.
Another top Democratic fundraiser, admitted Chinese swindler Norman Hsu, is in jail for fraud. Hsu raised nearly $1 million for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and substantial sums for party leaders like New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and California Senator Dianne Feinstein. Clinton was so tight with Hsu that a voicemail recording of her praising Hsu was presented as evidence in federal court. In it she repeatedly thanks Hsu for his support and tells the one-time fugitive she’s never seen anybody who has been more loyal and more effective.
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