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November 14, 2008

Coleman/Kazeminy: Insurance exec is Coleman supporter

Producer Mike Prins   

So far, two separate lawsuits allege that Sen. Norm Coleman's mysterious benefactor, Nasser Kazeminy, disguised cash gifts to the senator as payments from Kazeminy's oil services firm to the insurance company that employed Coleman's wife.   

Among the exhibits appended to the Delaware lawsuit are two invoices from the Hays insurance company to Deep Marine Technology. Each invoice is for $25,000 for unspecified services. The invoice identifies the insurance producer as one Michael Prins. Prins turns out to be a longtime Coleman supporter. (Clarification: There were four Hays invoices in total, each for $25,000. Three were paid, but former DMT CEO Paul McKim refused to approve the final payment.)

Prins is an Executive Vice President at Hays Company. He lives in Eden Prairie, MN and he is licensed to write insurance in Minnesota and Texas.   

It's not clear what, if anything, Laurie Coleman does for Hays Company. So far, no one has been able to explain why Hays hired the then-50-year-old senator's wife who had no apparent background in insurance.

It's not even clear whether Coleman had her insurance producer's license when she joined Hays. The Hays Company says it brought Coleman on board in 2006. Minnesota public records show that Coleman didn't even get her insurance license until October of 2006.

The payments from DMT to Hays started in the spring of 2007. 

It's equally unclear what, if anything the Hays Company did for DMT. Hays claims it was brought on board for risk consulting, but the confidential source quoted in the Delaware lawsuit contradicts that claim. The source asserts that Hays was ostensibly brought in to write insurance, despite the fact that DMT didn't need any additional insurance. The two lawsuits allege that Hays did no work for DMT.

Neither the Coleman camp nor the Hays Company is prepared to answer any further questions.

Like many Hays executives, Mike Prins gives generously to Republican candidates. The Prinses of Eden Prairie have given over $16,000 to Republican candidates since 1998, campaign finance records show, about $4,000 of that went to Norm Coleman's campaigns. 

Even more interesting, Prins apparently signed up to attend a $500-a-plate fundraiser co-sponsored by Coleman's senate campaign and the Minnesota GOP on October 23, 2008. (Click image to view full-size.): 

Michael Prins Attending


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We need stricter Senate disclosure laws.

The public needs to know the salary-and-hours of close relatives of Senators.

Otherwise, at least one Senator is bound to have a close relative being overpaid as a bribe, whether-or-not Norm Coleman is doing so.

I agree with Eric ... and there's no reason things like this can't be digitized and put on line.

I'm shocked, shocked, shocked.

So even after she got her license she had what 2 years of experience and she got a $25,000 gift? All I ever got was a free turkey in November and I was happy for it.

"Each invoice is for $25,000 for unspecified services. The invoice identifies the insurance producer as one Michael Prins. Prins turns out to be a longtime Coleman supporter. "

Was there more than one invoice was $25,000 the total or the amount or one gift?

There were at least 3 payments of $25,000 each from DMT to Hays Company. A forth $25,000 check was cut, but may not have been cashed. We don't know where the money went after it was paid to Hays Co. They claim Laurie Coleman wasn't

"A fourth invoice from Hays was received by Deep Marine on Dec. 11, but McKim blocked the $25,000 payment from being made, according to the suit."

Disclosure should be manadatory and published on a government or watch dog website. If a politician is accepting money the public should know from who and how much. They don't want that because we may start asking, "Why are they giving this person all of that money?"

Paul McKim and B J Thomas were the CEO and CFO at DMT when the company was sued by a competitor for stealing digital information, at about the same time DMT was making payments to Hays. McKim started the company and he hated Kazeminy and the other investors who bankrolled DMT, but he would have done anything to keep DMT solvent and highly-capitalized. I'm not surprised he would roll over and make the illegal contributions. The only thing that surprises me is that he refused to make the fourth one.

McKim could be viciously vindictive. When he fired Thomas, he sent him away with very little in severance, despite the fact that Thomas helped him get the company up and running and worked slavishly to make it successful. McKim deserves to be in jail. I know all this from personal experience.

Very interesting, Expunger, I'd like to talk to you more about this. Can you drop me a line at the email address on the sidebar? Thanks so much for your comment.

Sent you an email on 13Dec08.

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