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Press Release

Two More Sentenced In Cuyahoga County Corruption Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A former Cuyahoga County employee and another man were sentenced to prison after previously pleading guilty to racketeering, law enforcement officials said.

Former Deputy Cuyahoga County Auditor Samir Mohammad was sentenced to nearly four years in prison. He pleaded guilty last year to racketeering, conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, Hobbs Act conspiracy, witness tampering and making false statements.

Hamdi “Sam” Qasem was sentenced to four months detention to be followed by four months home detention.

Both men admitted last year to trading things of value with public officials in exchange for favorable personnel decisions, according to court records.

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 Henry F. DeBaggis and Justin J. Roberts following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.

Updated March 12, 2015