Ex-Chicago comptroller Amer Ahmad goes before judge

April 30, 2014

Ahmad is accused of using fake documents while on the run from a corruption sentence in the U.S.

Once a rising star, the Harvard Business School grad who moved into top positions in Ohio State government and at Chicago City Hall has fallen. He landed in a Pakistani jail cell, where he is being held on charges that he tried to get into that country with a fake passport and visa.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's one-time top city money manager was arrested Monday after he landed at Allama Iqbal Airport in Pakistan. Authorities suspect the 38-year old hoped to start a new life.

Federal investigators said Ahmad fled Chicago for Mexico, where he walked over the border and made his way to Mexico City. He flew Emirates Air to Pakistan. When he landed in Lahore, Pakistani immigration agents became suspicious, officials said.

He told them, "I love Pakistan and came back to settle down here for good," according to published reports. However, investigators said they found evidence of a scheme and took him into custody.

Pakistani officials said Ahmad was carrying $176,000 in U.S. cash and $17,000 in Euros; a fake Mexican passport and a fake Pakistani passport, in the name of Faisal Sarni believed to have been bought in Mexico; and a U.S. passport in his own name.

Six years ago as Ohio's deputy treasurer, Ahmad and his accomplices began rigging state contracts that put more than $3 million in their pockets. He then left Columbus, Ohio, and went to work for Chicago Mayor Emanuel until he was indicted in the Columbus scheme.

Ahmad pled guilty, and faces 15 years in federal prison.

Last week, his wife, Samar, obtained an order of protection against him in Cook County. She accused him of physical abuse and said he had attempted suicide. She also said she was concerned Ahmad would kidnap their three children.

Samar had told authorities her husband had asked her to get him a fake passport so he could get to Pakistan.

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