The former Ohio deputy treasurer pleaded guilty today for his role in leading a bribery and money laundering scheme involving the Ohio Treasurer’s Office.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark T. D’Alessandro of the Southern District of Ohio, and Special Agent in Charge Kevin R. Cornelius of the FBI’s Cincinnati Division made the announcement.
Amer Ahmad, 38, of Chicago, appeared before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson of the Southern District of Ohio and pleaded guilty to conspiracy, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and federal program bribery, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
According to court documents, from approximately January 2009 through January 2011, Ahmad and others conspired to use Ahmad’s role as deputy treasurer to direct official State of Ohio broker services business to Douglas E. Hampton, 39, a securities broker from Canton, Ohio, in return for payments from Hampton. Ahmad and Joseph M. Chiavaroli, 33, of Chicago, concealed those payments from Hampton by passing them through the accounts of a landscaping business in which Ahmad and Chiavaroli held ownership interests. Hampton also funneled in excess of $123,000 to Mohammed Noure Alo, 35, of Columbus, Ohio, an attorney and lobbyist who was Ahmad’s close personal friend and business associate.
As a result of the scheme, Hampton received approximately $3.2 million in commissions for 360 trades on behalf of the Ohio Treasurer’s Office. Ahmad and his co-conspirators received in excess of $500,000 from Hampton. Hampton and Chiavaroli entered guilty pleas in August 2013 and Alo pleaded guilty on Dec. 20, 2013.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Central Ohio Public Corruption Task Force, which includes special agents from the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas W. Squires of the Southern District of Ohio and Trial Attorney Eric L. Gibson of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.