The walls may be closing in on Debbie Wasserman Schultz after her former IT aide, the one who was arrested by the FBI at Dulles airport last month while trying to flee the country to Pakistan via Qatar, has officially been indicted by a grand jury on four counts including bank fraud and making false statements.
As Fox News points out, the charges include Awan’s wife Hina Alvi and are tied to allegations that the pair conspired to make false statements on applications for home equity lines of credit and then sent the proceeds of those loans to individuals in Pakistan.
Imran Awan, a former IT aide for Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was indicted Thursday on four counts including bank fraud and making false statements.
The grand jury decision in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia comes roughly a month after Awan was arrested at Dulles airport in Virginia trying to board a plane to Pakistan, where his family is from.
The indictment also includes his wife Hina Alvi.
The indictment itself, which merely represents formal charges and is not a finding of guilt, addresses separate allegations that Awan and his wife engaged in a conspiracy to obtain home equity lines of credit from the Congressional Federal Credit Union by giving false information about two properties – and then sending the proceeds to individuals in Pakistan.
So why is the real estate angle important? As we noted previously, title companies, unlike individuals, can wire large sums of money to international bank accounts without arousing the suspicions of federal investigators.
Title companies can wire large sums abroad without attracting the suspicion Imran did at the bank, and with Hina — the nominal sole owner of each of the houses — residing in that country, it would be natural to send the proceeds to her.
In addition to the three houses sold or slated to be sold since June 20, Imran’s lawyer, Chris Gowen, told The New York Times that the $283,000 wire in January was preceded by other similar transfers to Pakistan. “Gowen said the transfer represented the latest payment by his client for a piece of property he was buying in the country,” The Times reported.
Gowen would not tell TheDCNF whether the proceeds of the $360,000 June 20 home sale were wired to Pakistan, nor where the income from the two upcoming sales would go. The office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia declined to comment on whether it would block the disbursements.
The value of the known homes that have been sold since November or are currently being sold is $1.8 million. There is also the $283,000 January wire transfer from the Congressional bank, in addition to previous wires of unknown amounts that Imran’s lawyer acknowledged.
Since Imran’s lawyer said the January wire of nearly $300,000 was the latest in a series of wires, the transfers may have been about moving money from the $4 million in House payments or other sources.
As background, Imran was first employed in 2004 by former Democrat Rep. Robert Wexler (FL) as an “information technology director”, before he began working in Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office in 2005.
The family was paid extremely well, with Imran Awan being paid nearly $2 million working as an IT support staffer for House Democrats since 2004. Abid Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, were each paid more than $1 million working for House Democrats. In total, since 2003, the family has collected nearly $5 million.
In total, Imran’s firm was employed by 31 Democrats in Congress, some of whom held extremely sensitive positions on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, as we noted before, it is still unclear whether the bank fraud charges are just a placeholder for other charges that are yet to come.
While details are scarce, media reports have alleged that Awan and his brothers potentially ran a procurement scheme in which they bought equipment, then overcharged various House members that employed their IT firm. Meanwhile, some congressional technology aides have alleged that the Awan’s were blackmailing representatives based on the contents of their emails and files, due to the fact that these representatives have displayed unwavering and intense loyalty towards the former aides.
Of course, one of the most intriguing parts of the Awan narrative has continued to be why former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz decided to keep him on her taxpayer-funded payroll right up until his arrest and whether that decision had anything to do with the whole DNC / Hillary email scandals that erupted last summer.
Perhaps we are finally getting closer to an answer…