A lawsuit alleges that one of Sen. Norm Coleman’s (R-MN) best friends and supporters, Nasser Kazeminy, used a Texas-based oil-rig services company to funnel $75,000 to Coleman through his wife Laurie’s insurance firm. Paul McKim, who filed the lawsuit and who until last Friday was CEO of Deep Marine Technologies (DMT), says Kazeminy — who owns about 50 percent of the company — threatened to fire him if he did not agree to the deal. The lawsuit alleges Kazeminy explicitly sought to benefit Sen. Coleman:
In March 2007, Kazeminy began ordering the payments of corporate funds to companies and individuals who tendered no goods or services to DMT for the stated purpose of trying to financially assist United States Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota. In March 2007, Kazeminy telephoned B.J. Thomas, then DMT’s Chief Financial Officer. In that conversation, Kazeminy told Mr. Thomas that “U.S. Senators don’t make [expletive deleted]” and that he was going to find a way to get money to United States Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota and wanted to utilize DMT in the process.
Deep Marine Technology provides “comprehensive subsea services to the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry” and is “a significant player in the Gulf of Mexico,” according to its website. Coleman is a strong proponent of offshore drilling.
The lawsuit alleges that the money was sent through Laurie Coleman’s insurance firm, Hays Companies, to make it “appear as though the payments were made in connection with legitimate transactions.” A video shows Coleman ducking questions about the suit from Minnesota Star Tribune reporters on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Harpers reported that Kazeminy “covered the bills for Coleman’s lavish clothing purchases at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis” — a topic the campaign was not eager to discuss. Coleman also has a cozy deal with a political friend who lets him rent his Capitol Hill residence for a scant $600 a month.