A Columbus lobbyist with ties to a former senior Ohio treasury official pleaded guilty Friday to federal corruption charges in a scheme that involved bribery and money laundering, the U.S. Justice Department announced.
Appearing before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson in Columbus, Mohammed Noure Alo, 35, pleaded to “aiding and abetting honest wire services fraud.” Alo faces 20 years in prison.
It was unclear Friday night whether federal prosecutors hope Alo will testify against former Ohio deputy treasurer Amer Ahmad, 38, who was indicted last August by a federal grand jury on charges of bribery, money laundering, wire fraud and making false statements.
Ahmad served under for Democratic state Treasurer Kevin L. Boyce, who was defeated in 2010 by Republican Josh Mandel. After Boyce’s defeat, Ahmad moved to Chicago to serve in the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel until he resigned in July of 2011.
The Justice Department said that Alo admitted that he conspired with Ahmad and mortgage broker Joseph M. Chiavaroli, 33, of Chicago, to steer state brokerage business to Douglas Hampton, 39, a Canton securities broker.
Justice Department officials said Hampton received $3.2 million in commissions for 360 trades on behalf of the treasurer’s office. In return, the Justice Department said that Hampton paid more than $500,000 to Ahmad and his co-conspirators.
The Justice Department said Alo, a partner and founding member of a Columbus law firm, received $123,000.
Hampton and Chiavaroli pleaded guilty last August.