According to Luke Rosiak at the Daily Caller, Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s right-hand information technology (IT) aide was arrested attempting to leave the country just a few hours after The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group revealed that he is the target of an FBI investigation.
The employees had wired $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union in a House office building to two individuals in Pakistan.
“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 a 10-page 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 affadavit 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. “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 — many from Wasserman Schultz’s home state of Florida — at inflated salaries, but Democratic staffers said they were rarely seen at work. They collected $4 million in total.
House authorities told members in February that Awan 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 Awan, 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 Awan.
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TheDCNF reported Sunday night that the FBI had joined the investigation and seized smashed hard drives from Awan’s home. The next day, the FBI apprehended him at Dulles Airport after noticing that he had purchased a ticket to Pakistan, routed through Qutar.
The affidavit says he was charged with bank fraud involving fraudulently taking out mortgages, which was one of several financial schemes TheDCNF has detailed. It appears to be a placeholder for future charges, spurred because of the attempt to leave the country, and does not mention his work for Congress, which is the investigation’s primary focus.
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