Former Ohio Deputy Treasurer and Columbus Lawyer Indicted in Alleged Kickback and Money Laundering Scheme
Ohio Broker and Chicago Businessman Plead Guilty for Role in Alleged Scheme
|U.S. Department of Justice August 15, 2013|
WASHINGTON—The former Ohio deputy treasurer and a lawyer from Columbus, Ohio have been indicted and accused of engaging in 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, Special Agent in Charge Kevin R. Cornelius of the FBI’s Cincinnati Division, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine made the announcement.
Amer Ahmad, 38, of Chicago, and Mohammed Noure Alo, 35, of Columbus, were indicted on August 15, 2013, and charged with conspiracy and honest services wire fraud. Ahmad is also charged with money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, federal program bribery, and making false statements.
According to court documents, from approximately January 2009 through January 2011, Ahmad and others allegedly 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 Chiavaroli, 33, of Chicago, allegedly 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 allegedly funneled in excess of $123,000 to Alo, an attorney and lobbyist who is Ahmad’s close personal friend and business associate. As a result of the scheme, Hampton allegedly received approximately $3.2 million in commissions for 360 trades on behalf of the Ohio Treasurer’s Office. Ahmad and his co-conspirators allegedly received in excess of $500,000 from Hampton.
On August 14, 2013, Hampton pleaded guilty to conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Peter C. Economus of the Southern District of Ohio. Chiavaroli, who was also named in today’s indictment, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit money laundering. Sentencing for both defendants has not been scheduled.
The maximum penalty for each count of conspiracy and for each count of false statement is five years in prison. Conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering and federal program bribery each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and honest services wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
A criminal indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
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.