Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Former Chicago City Comptroller Arrested In Pakistan For Using Forged Passport To Avoid Federal Prison

 Amer Ahmad
Amer Ahmad with Emanuel in better days (Heather Charles/Tribune Photo)
The former city comptroller appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was forced out of his job after he was indicted on federal charges stemming from his prior employment with the Ohio Treasurer's Office, has been arrested in Pakistan where he was attempting to enter the country on a forged Mexican passport, presumably to avoid prison time after his earlier plea agreement in connection with a kickback scheme. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Amer Ahmad was arrested at the airport in Lahore, Pakistan for attempting to enter the country on a forged Mexican passport and forged Pakistani visa after his wife first expressed concern to a court that he planned to flee the country. Ahmad had $146,000 in U.S. currency and $126,000 euros on him when he was arrested by Pakistani authorities.
"Our officers at the airport found that his passport and visa were forged. We also recovered his original American passport which he tried to hide. Then we searched his history on Google and found that he was guilty of fraud in US and wanted (by the) FBI," Anwar said. "We have arrested him under (a) passport and visa fraud case which carries a punishment of seven years of imprisonment in Pakistan.”
Ahmad’s apprehension comes a week after Ahmad's wife filed a request for an order of protection in Cook County Court in which she alleged he was seeking a fake passport to go to Pakistan.
The U.S. Marshals Service announced last week they were looking for Ahmad on an arrest warrant for violating terms of bail in the case, in which he pleaded guilty to participating in a kickback scheme during his time as deputy state treasurer in Ohio prior to being hired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as Chicago comptroller in 2011.
Apparently, the person who forged Ahmad's documents didn't do a good enough job to pass the lax U.S. and international security that has allowed Barack Obama to use false personal identification documents throughout his entire adult life. Ahmad was facing up to 15 years in prison in the U.S., but he could face equally as much jail time for money laundering charges that he may face in Pakistan if authorities there press charges against him. Mayor Emanuel told a reporter for the Tribune that he was too busy with other issues to be concerned about his former comptroller's arrest in Pakistan. He gave one of his classic snarky responses to the reporter's question.
“I've got to be honest, sorry about this, but let me give you this sense of reaction: I was thinking about plastic bags before Amer. I was thinking about petcoke regulations before Amer. I was thinking about how proud we all are of the Whitney Young basketball team, of their accomplishments on the court and in the classroom,” Emanuel said. “That all came before that, so, gives you some sense of perspective on it.”
The reference to plastic bags made by Emanuel referred to an ordinance passed by the Chicago City Council with his support that bans the use of most plastic bags for environmental protection in the city. The petcoke reference refers to Emanuel's attempt to ban the storage of petroleum coke, a byproduct of the oil refining process at refineries like Whiting's BP refinery, that are stored at industrial locations on the city's southeast side. On that "Chicagoland" series Emanuel's PR folks scripted with CNN to bolster his public image, Emanuel told the Tribune that he had not watched any of the series of shows that have already aired. Emanuel deflected further questions from reporters, claiming that his spokesperson had already addressed the issues raised by the Tribune's previous reporting.

The protective order filed last week by Ahmad's wife expressed concern that her husband planned to kidnap their children and take them with him to Pakistan. Last December, Ahmad had pleaded guilty to federal charges of bribery, wire fraud and money laundering for having $400,000 funneled to a landscaping business he owned in exchange for providing investment work to a former high school classmate. Another $123,000 was funneled to Ahmad through a friend. And if anyone doesn't think this same thing happens in Indiana all the time without consequence, think again. Why do you think that one single power broker has iron fist control over investment decisions for state and local governments in Indiana through the control he exercises over his stooges in the Indiana State Treasurer's Office and among local government financial officers throughout the state? Do you actually think that joke of a public corruption coalition that Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced yesterday is going to do anything about it, or U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, who was noticeably absent from the announcement?

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