August 20, 2014
Former City of Chicago Comptroller Amer Ahmad pleaded guilty Monday to being part of a large kickback and money-laundering scheme when he was Ohio’s deputy state treasurer — crimes for which he’ll face up to 15 years in prison.
Ahmad also agreed pay $3.2 million in restitution, according to his plea agreement, which he entered during a 45-minute hearing in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.
Ahmad, 38, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery for using his Ohio government position to secure “lucrative state business” for his high school classmate and financial adviser, Douglas Hampton, “in exchange for payments” to himself and others, according to his plea agreement.
Those crimes occurred before Ahmad joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration in April 2011. An investigation by an outside law firm hired by City Hall to review Ahmad’s conduct here revealed no criminal wrongdoing by Ahmad or his staff.
Emanuel aides declined to comment on Ahmad’s plea deal.
According to that plea, Hampton, 39, of Canton, Ohio, made secret payments to Ahmad, who steered state of Ohio securities brokerage work to Hampton. Ahmad and Joseph M. Chiavaroli, 33, also of Chicago, concealed those payments by passing them through an Ohio landscaping company they owned, prosecutors said.
Hampton also funneled cash to Mohammed Noure Alo, 35, an attorney, lobbyist and close friend of Ahmad’s from Columbus, Ohio.
In all, Hampton got about $3.2 million in commissions for 360 trades on behalf of the Ohio state treasurer’s office. Ahmad and his co-conspirators got more than $500,000 from Hampton, according to prosecutors.
Ahmad was the last of the four to plead guilty to the scheme. Alo did so on Friday; Hampton and Chiavaroli entered guilty pleas in August.
Ahmad, whose attorneys could not be reached for comment, remains free on bail but surrendered his U.S. passport. His sentencing hearing has not yet been set.