COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The former director of a Columbus Islamic center was sentenced on Thursday for embezzling more than $80,000 in funds, in part from the mosque.

Ahmed Ahmed, 44, of Gahanna was sentenced in U.S. District Court to four months in prison followed by four months in a halfway house, according to Kenneth Parker, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. He will then serve 12 months of home confinement. As a part of his sentence, Ahmed will pay more than $82,000 in restitution. 

He pleaded guilty in October 2022 to three separate fraud schemes: embezzling funds from the mosque, defrauding public housing and filing for fraudulent COVID assistance funds. 

From at least 2009 until 2019, Ahmed was the director of the Ibn Taymiyah Masjid and Islamic Center on Mock Road. Starting in 2015 for a three-year period, Ahmed wrote unauthorized checks from the mosque’s accounts to himself. Each consecutive year, Ahmed increased the amount he embezzled, starting at $4,500 in 2015 and ending at $21,000 in 2018. Ahmed spent thousands of dollars of the mosque’s funds to pay for his own credit card bill and the purchase of a personal vehicle, according to Parker’s office.

He additionally submitted false claims to the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority from 2014 until 2020 to obtain housing subsidies he otherwise would not have qualified for. He falsely claimed his personal income was $18,000 annually and did not report any household assets, when he and his wife deposited more than $235,000 in their bank accounts from 2014 to 2018. 

Ahmed fraudulently applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance nine times between August and October 2020, the press release said. During the same time frame, Ahmed made at least $4,000 by producing and posting approximately 126 YouTube videos.