Amer Ahmad is wanted by U.S. Marshals after authorities say he jumped bail. They believe he disappeared from his home here in Chicago. Not only is Ahmad an ex-city comptroller, he was a top aide to Mayor Emanuel.
But it was before coming to Chicago that Ahmad got into trouble. In Ohio, he was deputy state treasurer and ensconced in a multi-million dollar corruption scandal, in which he pleaded guilty and was facing up to 15 years in prison.
His was a tremendous fall from glory, in a city where the bar is high. Ahmad, complete with a Harvard MBA, was a rising star at City Hall when he left suddenly last July, shortly before being indicted by a federal grand jury in Columbus, Ohio.
He signed a plea agreement just before Christmas, pleading guilty with three other men in a $3.2 million kickback scheme. Ahmad had accepted bribes in 2009 and 2010 from a financial advisor in exchange for state business.
On Friday, federal prosecutors in Ohio reported that Ahmad was a fugitive and requested an arrest warrant for the defendant, and as this Ohio court record states, an arrest warrant has been issued, signed by the trial judge in Columbus.
He was awaiting sentencing, free on an OR bond, short for own recognizance, meaning the court trusted that he would show up.
An OR bond is a privilege afforded to some white-collar offenders who have no criminal history. Such a bond allows you to remain out of custody on your promise to return to court when required.
Ahmad also made another promise in his plea deal: to pay restitution totaling $3.2 million. With that kind of money and the proceeds of a recent real estate deal, he could well have bought his way out of the country, even though he had to surrender his U.S. passport.