Hassan Nemazee, a multimillionaire Iranian-American investment banker and top Democratic Party fundraiser, was sentenced today to 12 years in federal prison for bank fraud.
Nemazee, 60, served as the national finance chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before raising more than $500,000 for Barack Obama’s campaign.
In 2004, Nemazee was New York finance chairman for Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign, a position in which he raised about $500,000 in bundled campaign contributions.
Kerry’s 2004 presidential-campaign website listed Nemazee as being in the top tier of Kerry’s contributors nationwide. Nemazee was one of some 60 people credited with raising $100,000 or more for the campaign, an amount that earned him the designation of vice chairman to Kerry’s campaign.
In his 2005 book “Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians,” WND senior staff reporter and columnist Jerome R. Corsi targeted Nemazee for his alleged history of pushing to normalize diplomatic relationships with the theocratic regime ruling Iran, despite Iran’s pursuit of a clandestine nuclear-weapons program.
On Oct. 18, 2004, Corsi attended a deposition in New York City in which Nemazee was questioned under oath by legal counsel for Aryo Pirouznia, the leader of the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran.
Nemazee had sued Pirouznia in a $10 million defamation suit that charged Pirouznia had defamed him by calling him an agent of the religious clerics ruling Iran.
According to Corsi’s book, Pirouznia had charged that Nemazee was utilizing his resources, including investment funds Nemazee managed in Nemazee Capital Corp., to further the interests of the religious rulers in Tehran in the formation of U.S. foreign policy toward Iran.
The lawsuit was ultimately settled out of court.
On Sept. 30, 2004, in the campaign’s first nationally televised presidential-candidate debate with President George W. Bush, Democratic Party nominee Kerry said the United States should provide nuclear fuel to Iran to test them, “to see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes.”
Kerry’s plan was basically the same one the Clinton administration had tried with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il in 1994 under an “Agreed Framework” in which the U.S. handed over to Pyongyang enough nuclear fuel to run two nuclear-power plants.
After the delivery of the nuclear fuel by the Clinton administration, Kim Jong Il withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and proceeded to make nuclear warheads for North Korea’s Nodong missiles.
Nemazee had reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors in March, having admitted to three counts of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud, in a scheme in which he forged documents and created false account statements in applying for new bank loans to pay off older bank loans.
U.S. Attorney Prett Bharara in New York City and FBI investigators told Dow Jones Newswires that the 59-year-old Nemazee applied for the Citibank loans for Nemazee Capital Corp., of which he is chairman and chief executive, by giving Citibank “numerous documents that purported to establish the existence of accounts in Nemazee’s name at various financial institutions containing many hundreds of millions of dollars.”
According to the criminal complaint released by Bharara, the accounts Nemazee submitted in the loan documentation were “fraudulent and forged” and “either never existed or had been closed years before Nemazee submitted the documents referencing those accounts.”
The criminal complaint alleged Nemazee’s fraudulent scheme began in December 2006, when he first approached Citibank to borrow $25 million, until 2009 when he raised the sum to $80 million.
In 1998, President Clinton nominated Nemazee to be ambassador to Argentina but later withdrew the nomination after Forbes magazine published an extremely damaging review of Nemazee’s business career.
On May 3, 1999, Forbes wrote, “Over the past four years Nemazee and his family have given more than $150,000 to Democratic politicians and the DNC. Six of Nemazee’s friends and relatives have given $10,000 apiece – the maximum allowable per year – to Bill Clinton’s legal-defense fund.”