Former deputy Ohio treasurer Amer Ahmad pleaded guilty Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, in U.S. District Court to conspiracy and bribery charges for his role setting up his high school classmate to make $3.2 million in trading commissions off the state in exchange for $523,000 in kickbacks.
Former deputy Ohio treasurer Amer Ahmad, who federal authorities believe is on the lam, asked his wife to get him a fake birth certificate from Pakistan for a bogus passport and when she refused he became irate and abusive, according to a petition for a protective order filed in Cook County in Chicago.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson issued an arrest warrant Friday for Ahmad, who has been free on bond awaiting sentencing for his part in kickback scheme in the Ohio treasurer’s office.
In requesting a protective order, Samar Kaukab Ahmad alleged that Ahmad had become physically and verbally abusive in recent weeks, throwing her to the floor by her hair, threatening to take their children, and attempting to run her and her father over with a car.
“I am very concerned that he will kidnap our children and take them to Pakistan. He believes that (he) is not guilty and deserves a life with the children and repeatedly gets very angry if I say anything,” Kaukab Ahmad said in her petition.
Ahmad, 39, pleaded guilty in December in federal court to conspiracy and bribery. He orchestrated a scheme that steered state treasury trades to a high school buddy, Doug Hampton of Hampton Capital Management, who made $3.2 million in commissions and kicked back $523,000 to Ahmad and his two co-conspirators, Noure Alo and Joseph Chiavaroli. All four have pleaded guilty but have yet to be sentenced.
Ahmad is facing up to 15 years in prison, $500,000 in fines, plus $3.2 million in restitution.
Kaukab Ahmad also said in the petition that Ahmad has attempted suicide multiple times. Ahmad said in federal court in December that he is on medication and under the care of a mental health professional.
The couple have two daughters, ages 6 and 7, and a son, age 2. They live in Chicago but have family ties in Ohio. Kaukab Ahmad’s parents live in Cincinnati. Ahmad grew up in Canton, the son of Pakistani immigrants.
Kaukab Ahmad, who works at the University of Chicago, appeared at her husband’s side in federal court when he was indicted in August and when he entered his guilty plea in December. She claimed in her protective order petition that he has threatened to take their children away from her and intimated that he would ruin or hurt her.
Ahmad was second-in-command in the Ohio treasurer’s office from May 2008 to January 2011 under Democrat Treasurers Richard Cordray and Kevin Boyce. After Boyce lost the statewide election to Republican Josh Mandel in 2010, Ahmad moved on to be controller for the city of Chicago in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration. Ahmad quit his Chicago job in July just weeks before he was indicted.
While in the Boyce administration, Ahmad authored a confidential investment strategy that called for the treasurer’s office to make five to 10 trades a day, using seven core trading partners, including Hampton Capital Management. Hampton made 360 trades, earning $3.2 million in commissions.
He then disguised $523,000 in kickback money as legal fees for Alo and a loan for Chiavaroli’s landscaping business, Green Landscapes and Lawn Care, which Ahmad co-owned.
The FBI began investigating Ahmad and Alo after the Dayton Daily News published stories in May 2010 that Boston-based State Street Bank hired Alo, who is an immigration attorney, to lobby the treasurer’s office. Alo, who had no other lobbying clients, had personal ties to Ahmad.
The lobbying arrangement with State Street Bank has not resulted in criminal charges.
Kaukab Ahmad declined to comment when reached Monday. Officials in the U.S. attorney’s office in Columbus declined to comment. U.S. Marshals are searching for Ahmad.
Our Columbus Bureau has been following the Amer Ahmad case from the beginning. Here’s a look at some our our past coverage: