Conspiracy, bribery, and money laundering, these are the charges against a former deputy state treasurer brought by a federal grand jury. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports the official plans to fight the corruption charges.
The indictment against Amer Ahmad alleges a tale of corruption between the former deputy treasurer, Ahmad’s business partner and a state lobbyist.
According to court documents, Ahmad is accused of using his position as deputy treasurer to hire Douglas Hampton and his company to conduct a series of lucrative securities trades on behalf of the state and the treasurer’s office.
In exchange for the commission Hampton received, the indictment says Hampton paid Ahmad about $400,000. The money was allegedly disguised as loans to a business Ahmad partially controlled.
Ahmad is accused of creating schemes to defraud the state and the indictment says Hampton received significantly more business than the other brokers.
According to the indictment this all happened in 2009 and 2010, when former State Treasurer Kevin Boyce was in office.
Included in the indictment is alleged co-conspirator, Mohammed Noure Alo, who was a registered lobbyist.
Both Ahmad and Alo were targeted in attack ads from now-Treasurer Josh Mandel while he was challenging Boyce in the 2010 elections. The ads were highly-criticized by the Boyce camp and newspaper editorials.
In an interview in June of 20-10, Mandel repeatedly alleged problems in the treasurer’s office, that included a deal with a Boston bank under investigation for fraud and the hiring of Alo’s wife as Boyce’s assistant.
“There is a pattern of cronyism and very questionable activity in the treasurer’s office," Mandel said. "Treasurer Kevin Boyce has an integrity problem—he has a transparency problem—he has a cronyism problem.”
But according to the indictment, Ahmad went to great lengths to hide his relationship with Hampton from the rest of the treasurer’s office. That includes concealing the relationship from Boyce, who now represents the Columbus area in the Ohio House.
A spokesperson for Treasurer Mandel’s office issued a statement saying the alleged conduct is deeply concerning and went on to say , quote, we hope that he and the others involved are brought to justice, end quote.
After Boyce lost to Mandel, Ahmad became comptroller for the city of Chicago, appointed by Chicago mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
Ahmad, who just stepped down as comptroller earlier this month, plans to appear in federal court Monday to plead not guilty. His attorney denies any wrongdoing as deputy treasurer and urged that the state’s investments were protected and stabilized.