Hassan Nemazee

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Hassan Nemazee
Personal details
Born (1950-01-27) January 27, 1950 (age 64)
Washington, DC
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Landon School
Harvard University
Occupation Chairman/CEO of Nemazee Capital
Website Nemazee Capital

Hassan Nemazee is a multimillionaire Iranian-American investment banker, and diplomat.

Life[edit]

Nemazee was born in Washington, D.C. on January 27, 1950 and attended Landon School, graduating in 1968. He received his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with Honors from Harvard University in 1972.[1]

Nemazee has not returned to Iran since the Iranian revolution. Most of his family's property was seized by the new Iranian government.[citation needed] On August 25, 2009 Nemazee was arrested for fraudulently applying for a loan of over $74 million from Citigroup. The maximum penalty for the offense is 30 years in prison. He was subsequently accused of fraudulently obtaining $292 million of loans from three banks and of using the proceeds to both support his lifestyle and make political contributions[2]

Nemazee is the brother of Susie Nemazee, the wife of the British Ambassador in Washington DC, Sir Peter Westmacott.

Nemazee is the Chairman of Nemazee Capital.[3] Based upon the allegations of fraud contained in Mr. Nemazee's indictment, it is difficult to determine what legitimate business, if any, was ever conducted by Nemazee Capital.

Business Interests[edit]

Nemazee Capital was established in 1987 and was purported, on its website, to have, either directly or through associated entities, invested in the following sectors: health care, media, oil and gas, insurance, investment banking, asset management, newspapers, real estate development, technology, and communications.

Nemazee claims to have created Nemazee Holdings in the early 1970s and entered the financial services industry by partnering directly with AIG; at the time, according to information supplied by Nemazee, it was unique for the insurance giant to enter into such a relationship. Around this same time Nemazee claims to have created a joint venture for the establishment of a bank with Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, predecessor to JP Morgan & Co. Nemazee Capital evolved out of Nemazee Holdings and originally focused on real estate development.[4]

Political Involvement[edit]

Nemazee was, prior to his arrest, also known as one of the top political bundlers in the United States.

President Clinton nominated Nemazee to be Ambassador to Argentina on January 6, 1999, but the nomination was returned without action on August 5, 1999

During the United States presidential election, 2004, Nemazee was a supporter of John Kerry and a major contributor to his campaign. He was the New York Finance Chair for the Kerry campaign, and later the national finance chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.[5] With Nemazee as the national finance chair, Chuck Schumer's DSCC in 2006 raised $115 million, outpacing the NRSC by substantial sums, and helping the Democratic Party take control of the Senate.[6] During his presidency, Bill Clinton nominated Nemazee to fill the position of U.S. Ambassador to Argentina.[7] Due to Congressional concerns about Nemazee's convoluted and controversial business dealings, the nomination was subsequently withdrawn[8] More recently, Nemazee served as Finance Chairman to Hillary Clinton's 2007-08 presidential campaign, and also donated $50,000 (the maximum amount) to Barack Obama's Presidential Inaugural Committee.[9] In addition, Nemazee was a bundler for the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee.[10]

Board Associations[edit]

Nemazee is involved with the following business, charitable, international, and political organizations:

  • RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy Advisory Board 2006
  • Member, Advisory Board Foreign Policy Leadership Council - 2004
  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations - 2004
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Asia Society - March 2003
  • Member, Asia Society Policy Advisory Board
  • Member, Advisory Board of the National Security Network
  • Member, Visiting Committee of the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University 1998–2005
  • Member, Visiting Committee on University Resources, Harvard University 1986–2002
  • Member, Middle East Center Advisory Council at Harvard University 1990–1994
  • Member, International Affairs Planning Committee, Harvard University 1990–1995
  • Vice Chairman, Encyclopædia Iranica affiliated with Columbia University 1990–1998
  • Member, Board of Trustees of Iranian American Political Action Committee 2007–2009
  • Member, Board of Trustees of The Spence School 1993–1997
  • Member, Board of Trustees of The Brain Trauma Foundation 1996–present

Nemazee Hospital and Nemazee Family Philanthropy[edit]

Hassan Nemazee is active in several philanthropic endeavors, serving on several charitable boards.

Nemazee, and his family, have long been involved with philanthropic endeavors in pursuit of advanced healthcare. Nemazee Hospital was founded by Hassan Nemazee’s father, Mohammad Nemazee, who was born in 1896 in Bombay, India, to Iranian parents residing in the Far East. He was primarily a self-educated man who built a considerable fortune through legal and illegal opium trade, using his family's successful shipping enterprise based in Hong Kong and the network of family members who settled in various important locations throughout Asia.

The Nemazee family was trading with opium and other goods since the last decades of the 19th century. After the Chinese government prohibited the import of Iranian and Ottoman opium in 1912, the Nemazees began smuggling opium into China. The fortunes of the Nemazee family grew during the interwar period. Desperate for foreign currency, The Iranian Government ignored the international pressure to curtail its opium production and trade, though it was a signatory to the First Hague Opium Convention from 1912, and carried on with its uninhibited cultivation of opium-poppies and production of opium. The Nemazees assisted the Iranian Government by arranging the smuggling of enormous amounts of contraband opium into China during the interwar period, while the Iranian government turned a blind-eye to the large-scale smuggling activities conducted by the Nemazee family. After the abdication of Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1941, the new Iranian Government decided to begin a process that will end opium production in Iran. As a result, the Nemazees abandoned their opium business in the 1940s, although opium was still legal in Iran until 1955.

In 1953, when Nemazee Hospital and Nemazee School of Nursing were inaugurated, they were state-of-the art facilities. By this time, Nemazee had donated $10 million (equivalent to $100 million today) of his own money, all derived from his shipping business in Hong Kong, to construct and maintain the medical facility and water works.

Nemazee Hospital, Nemazee School of Nursing, and surrounding facilities also indirectly laid the groundwork for the development of a full-fledged university system constructed on the American model. In 1960, Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlavi commissioned a study that selected Shiraz instead of Tehran as the site for an Iranian university; the primary reason was that the Nemazee medical center complex provided the best base on which to build. Shiraz University was thus created and became the most advanced, western style academic institute in the Middle East.

Arrest[edit]

Hassan Nemazee was arrested on August 25, 2009 for allegedly defrauding Citi bank by using false documents to secure a loan.[11]

Nemazee's additional frauds exceed $100 Million, according to Federal prosecutors [12]

In July 2010 he was convicted of multiple counts of bank fraud and wire fraud and was sentenced to 12½ years in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Sidney H. Stein in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. The sentence was lighter than the 15½ to 19½ years that prosecutors had wanted.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hassan Nemazee
  2. ^ http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/.../hassan-nemazee-indictment.php?...
  3. ^ NEMAZEE CAPITAL – Hassan Nemazee – 30 Years of Investment Experience
  4. ^ Please note: The majority of information contained in this entry, especially concerning Mr. Nemazee's alleged business achievements and interests cannot be verified and must be evaluated in light of his recent arrest for fraud and grand larceny.
  5. ^ Marketplace: Hedge funds leaning blue
  6. ^ http://www.changetheparty.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=53&Itemid=57
  7. ^ The New York Times > Washington > Campaign 2004 > Cash Collectors for Kerry Race Run the Gamut
  8. ^ http://www.forbes.com/forbes/1999/0503/6309142a.html
  9. ^ Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009 donor list
  10. ^ Presidential Inaugural Committee 2009 bundler list
  11. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aWy8uHSaXZB4
  12. ^ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125192477445680911.html

External links[edit]