Ohio Lobbyist Sentenced to 48 Months for Role in Public Corruption Scheme
COLUMBUS—A former Ohio attorney and lobbyist was sentenced today for his role in a bribery and money laundering scheme involving the Ohio Treasurer’s Office.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell 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.
Mohammed Noure Alo, 35, of Columbus, Ohio, appeared before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson of the Southern District of Ohio for sentencing today. Judge Watson sentenced Alo to 48 months in prison for honest services wire fraud and ordered he pay over $123,000 forfeited as a money judgment. A co-defendant, the former Deputy Treasurer for Ohio, Amer Ahmad, fled after his guilty plea to federal program bribery and conspiracy, and is currently in Pakistani custody pending an extradition request from the United States government.
Alo was a partner and founding member of a Columbus-based law firm and became a registered lobbyist to the State of Ohio in 2010. Court records state that from approximately January 2009 through January 2011, Alo admitted he conspired with his close personal friend Amer Ahmad, 38, of Chicago, and others 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. Hampton funneled bribe payments in excess of $123,000 through Alo. Ahmad and Joseph M. Chiavaroli concealed additional payments from Hampton by passing them through the accounts of a landscaping business in which Ahmad and Chiavaroli held ownership interests.
As a result of the scheme, Hampton received approximately $3.2 million in commissions for 360 trades on behalf of the Ohio Treasurer’s Office. Ahmad and his co-conspirators received in excess of $500,000 from Hampton. Alo entered a guilty plea in December 2013. Both Hampton and Chiavaroli entered guilty pleas in August 2013.
Hampton is scheduled for sentencing tomorrow at 10 a.m.. Chiavaroli is scheduled for sentencing at 10 a.m. on December 1, 2014.
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 and Trial Attorneys Eric L. Gibson and Menaka Kalaskar of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.