The surprising thing, perhaps, is that it took Citigroup so long to look into Nemazee's operation, figure out that it was fishy, and, it appears, alert the Feds. As recently as August 11, two Citigroup representatives has lunch with Nemazee and asked him to verify the assets held in his account. After the lunch date, one wrote him a polite followup email:
We really appreciate your understanding, and agreement to circulate the Pershing collateral verification letter this Friday for signature. Attached is the text for the letter. Please ensure that we receive an original letter on Pershing stationary (sic) signed by an authorized representative of Pershing in Accounts or Trade Services.
Thank you for turning this around quickly for us.
In response, Nemazee sent Citigroup yet another forged letter. Less than two weeks later, he was confronted by FBI agents at the Newark airport as he prepared to board a plane to Rome.