Ex-deputy treasurer arrested in Pakistan

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COLUMBUS (AP) -- A former Ohio deputy treasurer facing 15 years in prison for bribery and conspiracy in the U.S. has been arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of traveling using fake documents.

The Federal Investigation Agency in Punjab province said Amer Ahmad, 39, was picked up Monday at Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore. A court ruled Tuesday that the agency can hold Ahmed for three days while it investigates him for fraud and reviews the authenticity of his travel papers.

Usman Anwar, the agency's local director, said Ahmad was traveling with $176,000, plus European currency worth about $17,000. His flight into Lahore, the capital of Punjab, arrived from Mexico, Anwar said.

In December, the Harvard-educated Ahmad pleaded guilty to federal charges in an alleged kickback scheme at the Ohio state treasurer's office. A Chicago resident, he surrendered his passport while awaiting sentencing.

Karl Schneider, Ahmad's attorney in Ohio, said Wednesday he couldn't immediately comment on Ahmad's arrest in Pakistan. U.S. authorities also are not commenting on the case.

Federal prosecutors in Columbus issued an arrest warrant for Ahmad on Friday after his wife, Samar, sought a protective order in Chicago. She alleged Ahmad threatened to harm her when she refused to get him a fake birth certificate from Pakistan for a passport.

Ahmad worked for two Ohio treasurers, Democrats Richard Cordray and Kevin Boyce, and later as comptroller under Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel -- a job he resigned from last year. Boyce lost the state treasurer's job to Republican Josh Mandel in the 2010 election.

Ahmad's December plea came days after his friend Mohammed Noure Alo, a Columbus attorney and lobbyist also charged in the scheme, pleaded guilty to a wire fraud charge.

Court records in the criminal case allege that between 2009 and January 2011, Ahmad, Alo, Canton-based financial adviser Douglas E. Hampton and mortgage broker Joseph M. Chiavaroli conspired to use Ahmad's position at the state treasurer's office to enrich themselves and their businesses by securing lucrative state business.

Prosecutors say Ahmad and Chiavaroli, also of Chicago, hid such payments using the accounts of a landscaping business in which the two had ownership interests.

Chiavaroli and Hampton pleaded guilty last year.

In Pakistan, Anwar said a man authorities later identified as Ahmad arrived in Lahore from Mexico traveling on what authorities suspected was a fake visa. When they investigated further and combed through his laptop, they determined his identity and discovered he was wanted on charges in the U.S. He had currency in dollars and euros in a bag.

Pakistani authorities notified the FBI and shared information with them about the arrest, Anwar said. The FBI requested access to Ahmad and that he be handed over to them.

Anwar's agency was awaiting official notification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Interior Ministry before allowing officials from the FBI access to Ahmed while conducting its investigation, he said.

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