County corruption defendants plead 'guilty' in court

1:52 PM, Oct 15, 2012   |    comments
  • Samir Mohammad
  • Hamdi "Sam" Qasem
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AKRON -- Former Cuyahoga County Deputy Auditor Samir Mohammad and businessman Hamdi "Sam" Qasem pleaded guilty to racketeering Monday for their role in trading things of value with public officials in exchange for favorable personnel decisions, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Mohammad and Qasem both pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering.

Mohammad also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, Hobbs Act conspiracy, witness tampering and making false statements.

Their pleas were accepted by U.S. District Court Sara Lioi. Their trial had been scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Related story: County corruption defendants make plea deals with feds

They are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 4. According to Mohammad's attoney Joe Dubyak, the agreement has Mohammad likely serving 46 months in prison.

Former Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo and others had county management hire people that were friends and relatives of Mohammad and Qasem, in return for Russo and others receiving money and other bribes.

Mohammad also used an intermediary to offer and give things of value to former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora in return for favorable personnel decisions, according to court documents.

Mohammad, along with Russo, Kevin Payne and J. Kevin Kelley, also used their influence to secure the participation of Broma Information Technology, an IT consulting firm, in a large county project, in return for cash kickbacks.

Mohammad received a portion of those cash payments, which he, in turn, delivered to Russo, according to court documents.

The investigation into Cuyahoga County corruption continues.


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