Obama donor imprisoned for $292 mln bank fraud seeks early release

January 19, 2019 00:03
1 minute read.
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


NEW YORK, Jan 18 - An Iranian-American businessman who gave money to Democrats including former President Barack Obama should be released early from his 12-year prison term for a $292 million bank fraud and moved to home confinement, his lawyers said on Friday.

Lawyers for Hassan Nemazee, 68, who has spent nearly 8-1/2 years in prison, said he qualified for early release under a prison reform law signed by President Donald Trump last month.

The bipartisan First Step Act lets judges release to home confinement some older prisoners who have served at least two-thirds of their sentences.

Nemazee's lawyers said their client has been a model prisoner, has a job and housing lined up for after his release, and "embodies the very paradigm" of the type of person Congress intended for home confinement.

The lawyers said the Federal Bureau of Prisons has not responded to Nemazee's request for home confinement, possibly because of the partial government shutdown, and asked U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein in Manhattan to grant it.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan declined to comment.

Nemazee, a U.S. citizen whose family left Iran after the 1979 revolution, pleaded guilty in 2010 to obtaining $292 million in loans from Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc and HSBC Holdings Plc by using fake documents to show he had the necessary collateral.

His criminal case was separate from his political activities. These included being a top "bundler" of contributions to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and donating money to Hillary Clinton, who was Obama's first secretary of state and lost her own White House run in 2016 to Trump.

Other prisoners have also invoked the First Step Act to seek home confinement.

On Jan. 7, another judge rejected that relief for Bernard Madoff's longtime secretary Annette Bongiorno, who is serving a six-year prison term over her role in her boss's Ponzi scheme, saying it was initially in the prison bureau's discretion.

The case is U.S. v. Nemazee, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-cr-00902.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
July 18, 2019
Amir Peretz to Nitzan Horowitz: Labor will not run with Meretz


Cookie Settings