Ahmad, who served as Ohio's deputy treasurer and chief investment official, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, wire fraud and money laundering. He was hired in Chicago by Mayor Rahm Emanuel after the crimes in Ohio were committed. Mayor Emanuel has said that he knew nothing about the infractions and that nothing criminal was done in Chicago. An audit was done on Ahmad's work and the results were clear, the mayor's office has said.
According to sources familiar with the plea negotiations, Ahmad struck a deal with federal prosecutors on Sunday.
The one-time trusted ally of Mayor Emanuel will pay more than $3.2 million in restitution and could face a maximum of 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines, under conditions of the deal. According to reports he declined to comment after Monday's court appearance in Columbus.
Federal charges had Ahmad, 39, using his position in the state treasurer's office to steer government broker business to Douglas E. Hampton of Canton in 2009 and 2010. Hampton received more than $3.2 million in commissions from the 360 trades he conducted, authorities charged. Hampton pleaded guilty last summer.
In return, Mr. Hampton gave $123,000 in "legal fees" to Ahmad's friend, Columbus immigration attorney and lobbyist Mohammed Noure Alo. He also transferred $400,000 to a landscaping company Ahmad owned with Chicago businessman Joseph Chiavaroli.
As the I-Team reported last week, Mr. Alo pleaded guilty on Friday to aiding and abetting wire fraud and could face 20 years in prison. Hampton also cut a plea deal with prosecutors last summer.
Ahmad left the Ohio treasurer's office after Republican Josh Mandel was elected in 2010. Until last July, he served as Chicago comptroller and he currently lives in Chicago.