The man whom Chicago mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel tapped as Chicago’s comptroller has been arrested in Pakistan after allegedly fleeing there with a fake passport to avoid Federal apprehension on settled fraud charges.
Amer Ahmad, who served as the deputy State Treasurer of Ohio before Emanuel recruited him to his Chicago mayoral cabinet, was stopped and subsequently arrested by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency after he successfully made it past the U.S. air screening apparatus with the allegedly false credentials, before Pakistani police suspected the documents and did a quick Google search that revealed he was a wanted man in the United States.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Ahmad was using a forged Mexican passport and a forged Pakistani visa to enter Pakistan. He was due for sentencing in a Federal fraud case that stemmed from his time as an employee of the State of Ohio, before Emanuel hired him into his Chicago mayoral staff.
In a request for a protection order against her husband last week, Ahmad’s wife, Samar, had told court officials that he had asked her to help him obtain a false birth certificate so that he could get a fake passport, and had threatened to harm her if she did not comply.
Ahmad has been wanted by U.S. Marshals since last week on suspicion that he was not abiding by the terms of bail in his Ohio case – a case in which he pleaded guilty late last year for conspiracy to commit bribery, money laundering and wire fraud. He was facing a maximum prison sentence that ranges from five to ten years under Federal sentencing guidelines. A Pakistani investigator told the Tribune Ahmad may also be facing up to seven years in Pakistani prison on the passport and visa fraud charges there.
Asked by the Tribune Wednesday about his feelings on his former comptroller’s arrest, Emanuel focused on other things.
“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. That all came before that, so, gives you some sense of perspective on it.”
Check the Chicago Tribune’s full story for much more background on the Federal charges, as well as the circumstances leading up to Ahmad’s arrest Wednesday.