I-Team: Ex-Chicago official on run, arrested in Pakistan

Four days after a federal arrest warrant was issued for Chicago's former city comptroller Amer Ahmad, the one-time city hall wunderkind has been taken into custody in Pakistan according to multiple federal law enforcement sources.
April 30, 2014 9:28:14 AM PDT
Four days after a federal arrest warrant was issued for Chicago's former city comptroller Amer Ahmad, the one-time city hall wunderkind has been taken into custody in Pakistan according to multiple federal law enforcement sources.

Ahmad was being sought by U.S. Marshals in Illinois and Ohio after authorities in Columbus determined he had skipped bond. He pleaded guilty in a corruption case there last December. The case was from 2009 and 2010 when Ahmad was deputy treasurer for the state of Ohio and involved kickbacks for state contracts totaling $3.2 million.

Where in Pakistan Ahmad was detained and how the arrest came to be was unclear on Tuesday evening. Federal law enforcement officials in Columbus, Ohio are said to be in the very early stages of extradition although U.S. Justice Dept. personnel there would not provide any details.

It was after the financial crimes had occurred in Ohio that Ahmad was hired by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has said that he knew nothing about the scheme and that Ahmad did nothing wrong while working here.

After resigning from his high-ranking position at Chicago city hall last summer, he was indicted in Ohio. Initially Ahmad pleaded not guilty but then changed his mind after co-defendants decided to plead and would have testified against him. He was living in Chicago with his family while awaiting sentencing in Ohio and was free on an OR bond, short for own recognizance, meaning the court trusted that he would show up. When it was clear he wouldn't be showing up and had fled, authorities began a wide search for him.

Pakistan seemed a likely place to look after his wife filed court records in Cook County last week claiming that he had ordered her to get him a fake passport.

Samar Ahmad, Ahmad's wife, obtained an emergency order of protection last Thursday, according to court records obtained by the I-Team.

Mrs. Ahmad said that she was "very concerned" that her husband would kidnap their three young children and take them to Pakistan.

"He believes that [he] is not guilty and deserves a life with the children and repeatedly gets very angry if I say anything," Samar Ahmad wrote.

It was in a conversation last Wednesday that she reported her husband called her and told her "to get him a fake birth certificate from Pakistan for a passport."

She also claimed in court records that her husband had been undergoing psychiatric treatment and had attempted suicide.

Under Ahmad's Ohio plea deal reached with prosecutors, he agreed to pay more than $3.2 million in restitution and faced a maximum of 15 years in prison.


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