News and Press Releases

Two more pleaded guilty in cuyahoga county corruption case

Oct. 15, 2012

A former Cuyahoga County employee and another man pleaded guilty to racketeering today for their role in trading things of value with public officials in exchange for favorable personnel decisions, law enforcement officials said.

Former Deputy Cuyahoga County Auditor Samir Mohammad and Hamdi “Sam” Qasem both pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering. Mohammad also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, Hobbs Act conspiracy, witness tampering and making false statements.

Mohammad, 46, lives in Cleveland, while Qasem, 61, lives in Westlake, according to public records.

Both men are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 4, 2013.

Former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo and others did cause the county to hire designees of Mohammad and Qasem, including members of the same social organization to which they belonged, in return for Russo and others receiving things of value, according to court records.

Mohammad also used an intermediary to offer and give things of value to former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora in return for favorable personnel decisions, according to court documents.

Mohammad, along with Russo, Kevin Payne and J. Kevin Kelley, also used their influence to secure the participation of Broma Information Technology, an IT consulting firm, in a large county project, in return for cash kickbacks. Mohammad received a portion of those cash payments, which he, in turn, delivered to Russo, according to court documents.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin J. Roberts and Henry F. DeBaggis following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.

The Cuyahoga County corruption investigation is ongoing.


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