Former deputy Ohio treasurer Amer Ahmad, who has been held in a Pakistani jail since his clandestine escape from the U.S. in April, is scheduled to be sentenced in absentia by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson on Nov. 6.
On Wednesday, Watson set the sentencing date for Ahmad and his co-conspirator M. Noure Alo, a Columbus area immigration attorney.
Ahmad pleaded guilty Dec. 23 to bribery and conspiracy charges for his role in a kickback scheme he operated out of the state treasurer’s office. He steered state trading work to a high school friend, Doug Hampton, who made $3.2 million in fees off the work and then kicked back $523,000 to Ahmad, Alo and another co-conspirator. As part of his plea deal, Ahmad agreed to pay up to $3.2 million in restitution.
Alo pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting wire fraud.
Ahmad was free on a no cash bond and living with his wife and three kids in Chicago while awaiting sentencing. But on April 22 he left the country via Mexico and arrived in Lahore, Pakistan carrying bogus travel documents. Police there arrested him on April 28 but Pakistani officials have yet to agree to return Ahmad to the United States for sentencing.
Ahmad’s attorney, Karl Schneider, objected to sentencing Ahmad in absentia, saying it would violate his constitutional due process rights. Schneider acknowledged that Ahmad may have fled the country but said he doesn’t know if Ahmad now wants to return to the U.S.
Ahmad worked in the financial markets before being hired as chief financial officer in the Ohio treasurer’s office by then state Treasurer Richard Cordray, a Democrat. Later, Democrat Kevin Boyce kept Ahmad in his administration and promoted him. After Boyce lost the 2010 election to Republican Josh Mandel, Ahmad moved to be city comptroller for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
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