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  Norm Coleman no longer denies FBI contact in Nasser Kazeminy case
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Last EditedEric  Apr 04, 2009 12:56am
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MediaNewspaper - St. Paul Pioneer Press
News DateSaturday, April 4, 2009 06:55:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionFormer U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman is no longer denying the FBI has contacted him in its inquiry into allegations that a longtime friend and benefactor tried to funnel $100,000 his way via his wife's employer.

The change in stance — from denial to no comment — comes as some Democrats, including at least one senator, upped their rhetoric, raising the specter of using those issues and others to make life difficult for Coleman should he prevail in his bid to overturn Democrat Al Franken's 225-vote lead in the U.S. Senate race.

The change in stance, however, doesn't necessarily mean he has been contacted.

Sources have told the Pioneer Press that the FBI is looking into allegations contained in a pair of lawsuits that allege Nasser Kazeminy, a Bloomington financier, tried to steer $100,000 to Coleman from a Texas company via an allegedly bogus contract with the Hays Cos., a Minneapolis-based insurance firm where Laurie Coleman was a contractor. If true, such an arrangement could be considered fraud and could place Coleman in violation of Senate gift-disclosure requirements.

The lawsuits, filed days before the Nov. 4 election, don't accuse the Colemans of knowing about the alleged deal or doing anything wrong, and all the players — the Colemans, Kazeminy and Hays — have obtained defense attorneys and denied any wrongdoing.
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