Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Joseph M. Demarest, Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the FBI, announced the arrest this morning of Hassan Nemazee, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nemazee Capital Corporation, in connection with a scheme to defraud Citibank, N.A. (Citibank).
According to the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Nemazee engaged in a fraudulent scheme to induce Citibank to lend up to $74 million to Nemazee based on false representations that Nemazee owned millions of dollars in collateral. Nemazee submitted, and caused to be submitted to 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. In fact, those were fraudulent and forged documents.
ON Aug. 23, 2009, federal agents interviewed Nemazee at Newark Liberty International Airport as he was in the process of checking in for a flight to Rome. On Aug. 24, 2009, Nemazee repaid to Citibank his outstanding loan, an amount in excess of $74 million.
Nemazee, 59, currently resides in Manhattan and Katonah, N.Y. He is charged with one count of bank fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of 30 years and a maximum fine of $1,000,000 or twice the gain or loss resulting from the crime.
If recent history is any indication, expect more politicians to follow suit as the fallout from the latest disgraced-bundler case ripples through Washington in the coming days.
Nemazee made an impact in Democratic politics as a so-called bundler who rounded up checks from others. Since the early 1990s, when he first emerged as a prominent moneyman for the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign, Nemazee also has personally contributed more than $500,000 to dozens of primarily Democratic candidates, committees and causes, ranging from President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel to half the members of the U.S. Senate.