Hassan Nemazee’s brother-in-law has been charged as an accomplice in the same alleged $292 million Ponzi scheme that Nemazee himself was indicted for earlier this week.
Shahin Kashanchi, 46, of Telluride, Colorado, was charged with helping Nemazee — a major fundraiser for the Democratic party — to submit fraudulent documents and correspondence to the banks Nemazee allegedly swindled.
According to a Justice Department press release:
Indeed, based on e-mail traffic between Kashanchi and Nemazee summarized in the complaint, Kashanchi was regularly producing what Kashanchi referred to as the “normal quarterly statements” for one of the non-existent collateral accounts, among other things. Kashanchi would simply create phony account statements designed to look like real account statements, but bearing account numbers for accounts that did not exist and reflecting balances that purported to establish Nemazee’s great wealth.
Kashanchi also assisted Nemazee in Nemazee’s submission of fraudulent correspondence to banks. For example, on Aug. 11, 2009, representatives of Citibank told Nemazee that he needed to produce written verification of his collateral for the Citibank loans, which collateral was purportedly being held in an account at Pershing LLC. The Citibank representatives specified that the verification would have to be “an original letter on Pershing stationary [sic] signed by an authorized representative of Pershing.” On Aug. 13, Nemazee and Kashanchi exchanged e-mails arranging to talk the next day. On Aug. 14, Kashanchi sent Nemazee an e-mail in which Kashanchi stated in part: “Here is a try. Looks good from my end… . Compare it to an original if you have it.” Attached to that e-mail was a piece of fake Pershing letterhead stationery, listing as Pershing’s address and telephone number an address and telephone number associated with a Manhattan-based “virtual office” that Nemazee himself had established and bearing the name of an actual Pershing LLC employee. As a result, in the event anyone made an effort to contact that Pershing representative, they would in fact be contacting a telephone number assigned to Nemazee himself, and not any financial institution. Later that same day, Kashanchi sent Nemazee two different versions of the same phony stationery.
Kashanchi has been charged with two counts of bank fraud, each of which carries a maximum prison term of 30 years.