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Obama returning money from alleged Ponzi schemer

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama campaign is returning the donation of a hedge fund manager who is accused of defrauding members of his Persian-Jewish community in Los Angeles.

Shervin Neman, also known as Shervin Davatgarzadeh, gave the maximum $35,800 donation to the Obama campaign and another $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee.

"With 1.8 million donors thus far, we constantly review those contributions for issues," an Obama campaign official told Politico. "In this particular case, we will be refunding the contributions and have placed the funds in escrow until a trusteeship or other appropriate place to return these funds is established given the interests of the investors."

Neman allegedly raised more than $7.5 million from 11 investors in the Ponzi scheme, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He also has donated to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as well as U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Politico reported.

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