2013 Form 990 for National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations

National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO)

  • 2013 Revenue – $319,406
  • 2013 Expenses – $700,119
  • 2013 Revenue less expenses – negative $380,713
  • 2013 ending net assets – negative $1,240,907

NECO 2013 990 (tax return)

MinnPost | June 2011 | Investigations clear Norm Coleman, businessman Nasser Kazeminy of wrongdoing, attorneys say

By Doug Grow | 06/14/11
You have to wonder if this is what businessman Nasser Kazeminy and former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman really had in mind.

Yes, two attorneys representing Kazeminy held a news conference this morning to announce that three investigations, including one by the Department of Justice, show that Kazeminy and Coleman were guilty of no criminal wrongdoing in their relationship.

Yes, one of the attorneys representing Kazeminy, Louis Freeh, has impressive credentials. He headed the FBI from 1993 to 2001.

And yes, the media event at the law offices of Winthrop and Weinstine in downtown Minneapolis, will offer solace to hard-core Republicans who forever will believe that Coleman lost his 2008 senatorial bid to Al Franken in large part because late-campaign charges of smelly conduct between Coleman and his generous friend, Kazeminy.

“We know today what we knew in 2008 to be true,” said Coleman in a statement that was passed out at the media event. “A disgruntled businessman in Texas lied to extort money. My political opponents turned those lies into multi-million dollar attacks against my family and Nasser Kazeminy.”

So Coleman and Kazeminy were innocent of criminal conduct?

Former FBI head announces results
Yes, says Freeh, who was hired by Kazeminy to conduct what he called a thorough investigation.

Freeh was quick to add that another firm, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, reached the same conclusion.

And he also said that a U.S. Department of Justice and FBI probe also ended months ago with no criminal charges.

That the Department of Justice never announced that its investigation was over is not surprising, Freeh said. The department seldom announces when it’s beginning or ending an investigation.

But he included a letter he wrote to the Department of Justice in a media packet. In the letter from Freeh to Justice is this sentence: “This letter will confirm that the matter which has been investigated by the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice, the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has been closed, and that no criminal charges will be filed in connection therewith.”

So all of that was announced.

But clean slates? There’s much that doesn’t pass the good-judgment test.

Kazeminy did give Coleman and his family more than $100,000 in gifts over the years, dating back to when Coleman was mayor of St. Paul (1993-2001). Included in the gifts were Neiman Marcus suits the businessman gave to his friend.

“There was no quid pro quo in the gifts,” said Freeh. “There was no wrongdoing.”

….

[Note: supporters of Joe Paterno and the Penn State administrators accused by Freeh will see the irony in the following section.]

Effort meant to correct public record
It was important, Freeh said, to get it “on the public record that the government closed the case. No criminal charges. That’s not on the public record.”

It was important not only Minnesotans but also for “the children and grandchildren” of Kazeminy and Coleman understand that was how all of this ended.

Someday, Freeh said, those children or grandchildren will google the names of Kazeminy and Coleman, and if this news event had not been held, there would have been no clear conclusion to the rash of allegations.

It is the responsibility of the Minnesota media to give this story — this story of no criminal charges —as much play as the initial allegations received, he said.

“Sadly, though these allegations were entirely false,” Freeh said, “they were repeated in hundreds of local and national media reports, which consumed the final days of Minnesota’s closely contested U.S. Senate race. As a result, the good names of Mr. Kazeminy and Sen. Coleman were gravely injured and tarnished.”

Freeh did say that Coleman, Kazeminy and their families understood how a news event like today’s would bring back an old story. Freeh also said that he understood that it’s difficult to clear names once they have been tarnished.

He said there once was a secretary of Labor accused of many “horrors,” but eventually was cleared of wrongdoing.

“He asked, ‘Where do I go to get my good reputation back?’ ”

….

Read the full story

NewsCut (MPR News) | Dec 2014 | Report questions investigation that cleared Norm Coleman benefactor

December 31, 2014

Bob Collins

There’s no better example of the appearance of questionable ethics in politics than the once-brewing 2008 scandal in which a civil lawsuit claimed a Minnesota businessman tried to arrange a bribe to then-Sen. Norm Coleman by funeling money to a business employing Coleman’s wife.

Paul McKim, founder and former CEO of Houston-based Deep Marine Technology, claimed that Kazeminy pressured his company to make payments to Hays Companies – the employer of Laurie Coleman, who is a licensed insurance broker. Kazeminy and his companies are the single largest shareholder in Deep Marine Technology, the suit says.

McKim claims that Kazeminy told the company’s chief financial officer that “U.S. senators don’t make (expletive deleted),” and that he was going to use Deep Marine Technology to get money to Coleman. McKim said that when he objected, Kazeminy threatened to fire him, saying “this is my company,” and forced him to approve the first payment of $25,000 to Hays Companies.

Coleman lost the election to Al Franken in a famous recount and a few months later — April 2009 — Deep Marine’s litigation committee said its eight-month investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing.

“This was nothing short of an effort to extort or blackmail people with lies,” said Kazeminy’s attorney at the time.

Kazeminy hired former FBI director Louis Freeh to conduct his own investigation into the allegations.

“And we concluded after that investigation, that the allegations — particularly the allegation of the $100,000 payment — was baseless and false,” he said.

Freeh also declined to make the investigation public.

Read the story

NY Post | March 2011 | Ellis Is. honcho in Iran $candal

March 20, 2011

By Isabel Vincent

The group in charge of the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor — bestowed on such icons as Ronald Reagan, Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra — is being sullied by infighting and charges of shady spending, including steering money to Iran.
The nonprofit National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, or NECO, has been hijacked by its millionaire Iranian-born chairman Nasser Kazeminy, who is using the group to serve his own ego, alleges William Fugazy Jr., the son of the group’s founder.
Fugazy also contends Kazeminy has refused to hold a meeting to elect new officers.
“It’s not a p.r. firm for him,” rails Fugazy, who alerted board members like ex-Gov. George Pataki and former FBI Director Louis Freeh, but no one has taken action.
The state Attorney General’s Office in March 2010 told the group to hold a membership meeting within 60 days, but the group never did. The AG is reviewing the situation.
The organization was formed in 1986 by Fugazy’s father, a limo mogul, and others to protest the limited selection of honorees for a new award given for the Statue of Liberty centennial.
Awards are doled out each year during a gala on Ellis Island. This year’s ceremony is set for May 7.
Kazeminy, himself a Medal of Honor winner, joined the board around 2003. The businessman made his fortune in computer leasing.
He heads Minneapolis investment firm NJK Holding Corp.
Documents obtained by The Post show Kazeminy’s company sent $170,000 to NECO in 2006 to transfer to other charities including $50,000 to the Knights of Malta, an ancient Catholic organization.
Kazeminy claims in an online bio he was inducted into the Knights. They say he merely got a commendation.
A year later, documents show, Kazeminy’s company wired another $94,225 to NECO for the Knights.
His firm ordered $20,000 be sent to the California-based Maziar Foundation — which sends funds to the student movement in Iran — through NECO in 2006, according to an e-mail obtained by The Post.
NECO also gave $50,000 in 2006 to California’s Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership organization, which then gave Kazeminy its Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award.
Read the story