Excerpted From The Daily Caller: Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s top information technology (IT) aide was arrested Monday attempting to board a flight to Pakistan after wiring $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to that country.
He attempted to leave the country hours after The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group revealed that he is the target of an FBI investigation, and the FBI apprehended him at the airport.
Credit union officials permitted the wire to go through, and his wife has already fled the country to Pakistan, after police confronted her at the airport and found $12,000 in cash hidden in her suitcase but did not stop her from boarding, court documents show.
“On January 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm, an international wire transfer request form was submitted [at the Congressional Federal Credit Union] at the Longworth House Office Building in the District of Columbia, in the amount of $283,000.00, to two individuals in Faisalabad, Pakistan,” according to an affidavit obtained by TheDCNF.
Imran Awan, a Pakistani-born IT aide, had access to all emails and files of dozens of members of Congress, as well as the password to the iPad that Wasserman Schultz used for Democratic National Committee business before she resigned as its head in July 2016.
In March, his wife Hina Alvi, who also was on the House payroll, withdrew her children from school and left the country, the affidavit says. The Capitol Police confronted her at the airport but could not stop her. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection conducted a search of Alvi’s bags immediately prior to her boarding the plane and located a total of $12,400.00 in U.S. cash inside. Alvi was permitted to board the flight to Qatar and she and her daughters have not returned to the United States,” the affidavit says. “Alvi had numerous pieces of luggage with her, including cardboard boxes… Your affiant does not believe that Alvi has any intention to return to the United States.”
Soon after Imran began working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005, four of his relatives appeared on the payroll of other Democrats at inflated salaries, but Democratic staffers said they were rarely seen at work. They collected $4 million in taxpayer salaries since 2009.
House authorities told members in February that Imran and his relatives were suspects in a criminal investigation into theft and IT abuses, and they were banned from the Capitol network.
Wasserman Schultz has refused to fire Imran, despite being a known criminal suspect in a cybersecurity probe for months, and has blocked Capitol Police from searching a laptop they confiscated because it was tied to him.
TheDCNF reported Sunday night that the FBI had joined the investigation and seized smashed hard drives from Imran’s home. The next day, the FBI apprehended him at Dulles Airport after noticing that he had purchased a ticket to Pakistan, via Qutar. Keep reading
July 26 (UPI) — An IT staffer for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) who has been under criminal investigation was arrested when he tried to leave the country from Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport, according to reports.
Imran Awan, 37, of Virginia, pleaded not guilty to one count of bank fraud after the arrest. Federal authorities said Awan allegedly tried to get a $165,000 home equity loan through the Congressional Federal Credit Union for a rental property, which violates the credit union’s policy because it is not the owner’s primary residence, reported Politico.
The $165,000 was then transferred to two people in Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Awan was on his way to Pakistan, where his wife, Hina Alvi, and children are currently residing, before he was arrested. Federal agents said they didn’t believe Awan had any intention of returning to the U.S.
He will have to wear a GPS-monitoring device, abide by a curfew and surrender his passports before his next court date in August.
Awan’s attorney, Chris Gowen, said his client is the victim of a right-wing media conspiracy.
“This is clearly a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney’s Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim,” Gowen said. “A quick glance at what the government filed in court today confirms the lack of evidence or proof they have against my client.”
Awan is a longtime Democratic House staffer who was worked for more than 24 Democrats, including Wasserman Schultz, since 2004.
According to a February Politico report, Awan and several other staffers, including his wife, were under investigation for equipment and data theft from Democratic House members. Alvi was fired in March and moved to Pakistan, but Awan was kept on Wasserman Schultz’s staff until his arrest Tuesday.
“Mr. Awan previously served as a part-time employee but his services have been terminated,” said Wasserman Schultz spokesman David Damron. “No charges, evidence or findings from the investigation have been formally shared with our office, so we cannot comment on them.”