Wednesday, December 10, 2008

FBI investigating Sen. Norm Coleman ally

Page one of story in Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

"FBI investigating allegations against Coleman supporter: A lawsuit has alleged that Nasser Kazeminy tried to funnel $75,000 to Sen. Norm Coleman through a Texas company that Kazeminy controls."


Last update: December 10, 2008 - 1:41 PM

Let's Compare Minnesota and Illinois Politics

After recounting 2.9 million ballots, there are 133 missing (that's 0.0045 percent - PERCENT!) that could be considered an election recount … read more mess-up. Despite the whining about stolen elections, the recount process has been open, transparent, fast and efficient. No elected official of either party has been recorded swearing a blue streak and whining about how much money he/she should get for rigging the recount. Plus, while we don't have a real quarterback, we also don't have Kyle Orton. Yes, life is pretty sweet here in Minnesota, isn't it?

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* Nov. 9: "Money and past bond Coleman, Kazeminy"

The FBI has begun an investigation related to allegations in two lawsuits accusing a friend and political supporter of Sen. Norm Coleman of attempting to funnel $75,000 to him from the coffers of a Texas company that the friend controls.

A source familiar with the probe said FBI agents in Texas have begun contacting people associated with Houston-based Deep Marine Technology Inc., an underwater services company controlled by Nasser Kazeminy, a wealthy businessman whose flagship investment company is based in Bloomington, Minn.

Paul McKim, the founder and former CEO of Deep Marine, has alleged in a lawsuit against Kazeminy that Kazeminy directed $75,000 in payments last year to Hays Companies Inc. of Minneapolis, a large insurance agency that employs Coleman's wife, Laurie Coleman.

McKim's lawsuit alleges that Kazeminy told executives at Deep Marine that Coleman didn't make enough money as a senator and that the payments to Hays were to aid Coleman financially.

Coleman said after the election that he welcomes an immediate investigation. On Wednesday, Luke Friedrich, press secretary for the Coleman Senate campaign, said the senator had not been contacted by any investigators.

McKim said in his lawsuit that Hays did not provide insurance products or services to Deep Marine in exchange for the payments and that he blocked a scheduled fourth payment to Hays that would have been for an additional $25,000.

News of the lawsuit broke five days before the election between Coleman, a Republican, and DFL challenger Al Franken. The election's outcome is the subject of an ongoing recount.

In late October, McKim told the Star Tribune in an interview in Houston that he would welcome an FBI investigation of the payouts made to Hays Companies. He acknowledged that while he might find himself in trouble for initially signing off on the first $25,000 payment sent to Hays, it was paramount that federal authorities understand the context in which the payment was made.

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