Storm chasers brave danger and debris as they try to capture photos of tornadoes' destructive power. Slideshow
U.S. charges accomplice of Democratic fund-raiser
NEW YORK |
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Many of the fake documents used by a leading Democratic Party fund-raiser to defraud HSBC and Citigroup Inc were made by his brother-in-law, U.S. prosecutors said on Friday.
Authorities arrested and charged Shahin Kashanchi, brother-in-law of indicted fund-raiser Hassan Nemazee, who donated to the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other leading Democrats over the years.
Nemazee pleaded not guilty on Wednesday in Manhattan federal court to defrauding a total of three banks -- Bank of America was the other -- out of $292 million in loan proceeds.
"Based on e-mail traffic between Kashanchi and Nemazee, Kashanchi was regularly producing what Kashanchi referred to as the 'normal quarterly statements' for one of the non-existent collateral accounts, among other things," the office of the U.S. Attorney in New York and the FBI said in a statement.
"Kashanchi would simply create phony account statements designed to look like real account statements, but bearing account numbers for accounts that did not exist and reflecting balances that purported to establish Nemazee's great wealth."
Kashanchi, 46, of Telluride, Colorado was charged with two counts of bank fraud, each of which carries a maximum prison term of 30 years. His lawyer could not immediately be reached to comment.
Nemazee was head of a private equity firm in New York and an Iranian American Political Action Committee board member,
Prosecutors and the FBI said Nemazee, 59, used the proceeds of his scheme to make donations to election campaigns of federal, state and local candidates, to political action committees and to charities.
He bought property in Italy and paid for maintenance on two properties in New York, the indictment said.
As of August 2009, Nemazee owed Bank of America $142 million and owed Citibank $74.9 million, the indictment said. It said Nemazee drew on a line of credit he fraudulently obtained from HSBC to pay the Citibank loan.
If convicted on the three fraud charges, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
Nemazee typically donated more than $100,000 annually to Democratic political candidates. He is listed as one of the top "bundlers" of contributions to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, according to OpenSecrets.org, a website run by the Center for Responsive Politics research group.
The case is: U.S. v. Nemazee, 09-mj-1927 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
(Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this