Former Democratic fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, Kerry gets 12 years for fraud

A firefighter kneels to the ground as a fire rages through an old factory filled with books early Thursday in Amsterdam, N.Y.
A firefighter kneels to the ground as a fire rages through an old factory filled with books early Thursday in Amsterdam, N.Y. (Peter R. Barber/schenectady Daily Gazette Via Associated Press)
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Friday, July 16, 2010


Former Democratic fundraiser sentenced

A wealthy Manhattan investment banker and former top Democratic fundraiser was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in prison for defrauding banks of $292 million, some of which he donated to politicians including Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Al Gore.

Hassan Nemazee, 60, had reached a plea deal in March, admitting that he cheated banks and pleading guilty to three counts of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein in Manhattan said Nemazee will get out of prison in about a decade.

Nemazee was the national finance chairman of Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign; he also raised money for Obama and a long list of other prominent Democrats.

He was Sen. John F. Kerry's New York finance chairman during his failed 2004 presidential run.

Prosecutors said he used some of the proceeds from his crimes to make personal donations to election campaigns, to make charitable donations and to live a lavish lifestyle.

-- Associated Press

Sheik's lawyer faces more prison time

A 70-year-old civil rights lawyer was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison by a judge who boosted the original sentence by nearly eight years after concluding that the lawyer lied to a jury and lacked remorse.

The sentence was nearly four times as long as the two-year, four-month term Lynne Stewart originally received from U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl in 2006. She was convicted of letting a jailed Egyptian sheik communicate with his followers despite restrictions to prevent it.

An appeals court had ordered a new sentencing, saying that the terrorism component of the case needed to be considered, along with whether Stewart committed perjury at her trial. The court said it had "serious doubts" whether her original sentence was reasonable.

-- Associated Press

Post-Katrina shooting charged as hate crime: A white man accused of shooting and wounding three black men in New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath has been charged with a federal hate crime. Roland Bourgeois Jr. was charged with firing a shotgun at the men in the city's Algiers Point neighborhood while they tried to flee after the August 2005 hurricane. Bourgeois faces a possible life sentence if convicted of committing a hate crime with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

Bloomberg's election spending tops $109 million: New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) spent $109.2 million on his winning bid for a third term -- more than 11 times the total of his Democratic opponent. The billionaire mayor's campaign filed its final spending report Thursday with the state Board of Elections.

-- Associated Press

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