Ohio Supreme Court disbars attorney convicted in state bribery scheme

The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday permanently disbarred M. Noure Alo, an immigration attorney who played a key role in the biggest kickback and bribery scheme in Ohio Treasury history.

Alo was close friends with deputy state treasurer Amer Ahmad, who served in the state treasury under Democrats Richard Cordray and Kevin Boyce.

Ahmad orchestrated a scheme to steer state trading work to his high school buddy, Doug Hampton, who made $3.2 million in fees off it. Hampton then kicked back more than $500,000 to Ahmad, using Alo and another man, Joe Chiavaroli, as conduits for the payments.

Related: How Ohio deputy treasurer pulled off the biggest bribery scheme in state history

Eventually, all four pleaded guilty in 2014 and went to federal prison — though not directly for Ahmad.

Ahmad, who grew up in Canton and earned an Ivy League education, fled from justice in April 2014 while awaiting sentencing.

Ahmad flew to San Diego, took a taxi to the Mexico border, walked into Tijuana, flew to Mexico City and failed to convince authorities in the Pakistani embassy to give him a new passport under a different name. So Ahmad got fake documents from a Mexican taxi driver and flew to Lahore, where authorities arrested him for traveling on a bogus passport. They confiscated his cash and held him in jail while American officials tried to extradite him.

Related: Fugitive Ahmad kept diary of his escape to Pakistan

Finally, Ahmad gave up his opposition to extradition and he returned to Ohio in shackles in August 2015.

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The Ohio Supreme Court noted in its disbarment of Alo that he had faced previous disciplinary action for accepting retainers from clients but failing to perform the work or return the money.

“Given the scope and magnitude of Alo’s misconduct at issue in his two recent disciplinary cases — including his felony conviction, his misappropriation of client funds, and his complete failure to cooperate or participate in the disciplinary process — we conclude that he is no longer fit to practice law in Ohio,” the court said.

Ahmad is serving his 15-year sentence at Terminal Island federal prison in California and is due to be released in 2027. He did not receive credit for time served in jail in Pakistan.

Related: Feds bring back ex-deputy treasurer from Pakistan

Hampton, who received a 45 month sentence, was released in April. Chiavaroli, who was sentenced to 18 months, was released in September. Alo, who was sentenced to 48 months, was released in December.

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