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Is Bill Richardson Keeping Campaign Cash From Accused Ponzi Schemer?

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Newscom

There is no record of the governor's presidential campaign committee giving back $4,600 it received from Nemazee and his wife in October 2008, according to Doug Weber of the Center for Responsive Politics. The committee closed shop in June, and it's not clear whether Richardson would have the money to give back after the committee was terminated, Weber says.

After Nemazee, a big donor and bundler for many national Democrats, was charged with operating a Ponzi scheme in August, many politicians who got his money immediately announced they would give it to charity.

While Richardson is not running for reelection in 2010, his gubernatorial campaign is still filing fundraising reports, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. His office did not respond to requests for comment about the $5,000 from Nemazee.

The donations to the presidential campaign may have come at a dinner to help pay off Richardson's campaign debts that, according to Nemazee's business partner, he hosted at his Upper East Side apartment.