Top Obama fundraiser pleads guilty to $292 million scam 


Hassan Nemazee, 60, who once ran a private equity firm, admitted in Manhattan federal court to defrauding Bank of America Corp of more than $142 million, Citigroup Inc of $74.9 million and HSBC Holdings Plc of $74.9 million to pay his debt to Citigroup.

During the plea proceeding, Iranian-born Nemasee, who owned several multimillion dollar properties and had interests in various companies and hedge funds, said he had tried to get out of financial difficulty starting in the 1990s.

"It was my intention to repay ... but the hole that I dug was larger and I borrowed more," said the gray-haired, dapper Nemazee, who appeared embarrassed and contrite.

Nemazee was also one of Obama and Clinton's biggest fundraisers:

Nemazee was listed as one of the top "bundlers" of contributions to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, according to, a website run by the Center for Responsive Politics.

He typically donated more than $100,000 annually to Democratic Party political candidates, including Obama and now-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Nemazee faces forfeiture of $292.2 million and restitution of $217.3 million. He agreed to forfeit interests in properties, corporate entities, hedge funds, securities accounts, bank accounts, a 2008 Maserati Quattroporte and a 2007 Cessna aircraft.



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