Nemazee Pleads Guilty to $292 Million Bank Fraud Scheme
By Stephanie Woodrow | March 19, 2010 10:17 am

Hassan Nemazee

Democratic fundraiser Hassan Nemazee on Thursday pleaded guilty to defrauding three banks of more than $290 million, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York. SDNY Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel W. Levy and Michael D. Lockard are charge of the prosecution.

Nemazee, the national finance co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, used loan proceeds from one bank to pay off another over an 11-year period from 1998 to 2009. Nemazee misrepresented to the banks how much he owned in collateral and used fake documents and forged signatures to obtain the loans, prosecutors said.

The banks defrauded in the scheme include Bank of America, Citibank and HSBC Bank USA. Nemazee was charged with aggravated identity theft and three counts of bank fraud, each of which carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million or twice the gain or loss resulting from the crime.

Nemazee entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein. As part of his guilty plea, Nemazee agreed to forfeit his interest in various real properties, corporate entities, hedge funds, securities accounts, bank accounts, a 2008 Maserati Quattroporte and a 2007 Cessna aircraft.

He is scheduled to be sentenced by Stein on June 30.

Nemazee’s brother-in-law, Shahin Kashanchi, is separately charged with aiding and abetting Nemazee’s fraud scheme.

“Working with our partners at the FBI to investigate and end schemes like Nemazee’s is central to this office’s mission of aggressively policing white-collar crime,” SDNY U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

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