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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sam Qasem Indicted in Cuyahoga County Corruption Case

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Sam Qasem
  • Sam Qasem

The Cuyahoga County corruption scandal, while for the most part in residing in the rearview mirror along with Drew Carey's 48-inch-waist trousers, is far from over. Dimora will be heading to trial next year. Frank Russo will be testifying against anyone and everyone to shorten his sentence. And hopefully somewhere someone will wear a zebra-print button-down shirt.

And the Feds aren't done yet. On Thursday, an indictment against Samir Mohammad, a former deputy auditor under Russo who was already arrested and facing a variety of charges, and Hamdi "Sam" Qasem, a guy who was once at the center of the area's Arab community, was filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Specifically, they are looking at racketeering activity, a Hobbs Act extortion charge, obstruction of justice, and bribery. Something like hitting for the cycle in Cuyahoga County politics. Qasem will be joining Mohammad as a co-defendant.

The real nut in all of these cases isn't in the charges, however, but in the wiretapped conversations. Here's Mohammad chatting with someone in the engineer's office about the possibility of Russo ratting on them.

Employee: “Do you think Frank [Russo] would ever say anything?
Mohammad: “Fuck no, why would he, he would take an absolute bath, are you crazy? If he did, I would say he’s fucking lying.”

According to the indictment, Mohammad then suggested the employee would be “stupid” to speak to the FBI.

“We are each other’s fucking alibis,” said Mohammad.

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