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Fundraiser’s Brother-in-Law Pleads Guilty in Bank Fraud Case

Shahin Kashanchi, the brother-in-law of Hassan Nemazee, a former fundraiser for President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor bank larceny in Manhattan federal court.

Nemazee, sentenced last year to 12 years in prison, was charged with cheating Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc and Bank of America Corp. of $292 million. Kashanchi, 48, the owner of Blue Gecko Inc., a home electronic equipment installer in Colorado, pleaded guilty today to avoiding knowledge that Nemazee was using him to advance the fraud.

“In August ‘09, Hassan Nemazee asked me to create account statements that were outside of the usual quarterly period. It felt wrong and weird,’’ Kashanchi said in a hearing in Manhattan federal court today. ‘‘I was suspicious that Hassan may be using me to do something illegal but because of his stellar reputation and the fact that he was connected to the most influential of people, I did not act on my suspicions.’’

Kashanchi faces as much as a year in prison when he’s sentenced. Prosecutors originally charged him with two counts of bank fraud, each of which carried a possible sentence of as much as 30 years.

The criminal case is U.S. v. Kashanchi, 09-mj-2167, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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