Hassan Nemazee Pleads Guilty

Hassan Nemazee, a former finance chair for the presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton and a finance chair for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, pleaded guilty today to defrauding three banks and a friend out of $290 million in loans and proceeds.

Mr. Nemazee’s arrest in August stunned the New York donor community. Mr. Nemazee had bundled more than half a million dollars for Barack Obama in 2008 and had used part of his fraudulent loan money–in addition to paying the fees on his apartment at 770 Park and buying property in Italy–to lavish donations on a who’s who of local heavyweights. So it was somewhat ironic when the charges against Mr. Nemazee were brought by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the former general counsel to Senator Chuck Schumer, a frequent beneficiary of Mr. Nemazee’s largesse.

“It was my intention to repay,” Mr. Nemazee said of the loans today in court, according to Reuters. “But the hole that I dug was larger and I borrowed more.”