by WorldTribune Staff, February 22, 2017
A trio of Pakistani brothers who provided IT services to several House Democrats, including former DNC chair Rep. Debbie Waserman Schultz, pilfered $100,000 from an Iraqi politician while they had administrator-level access to the House of Representatives’ computer network, a report said.
Wasserman Schultz resigned under pressure from her DNC position following the devastating hacking attack on her party’s internal emails during the 2016 campaign.
According to court documents examined by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group, ringleader Imran Awan and his brothers Abid and Jamal took the money that had been a loan from Dr. Ali al-Attar, an Iraqi political figure.
The brothers, whose access to House IT networks has been terminated, are under criminal investigation by the U.S. Capitol Police.
The money was funneled through a company with “impossible”-to-decipher financial transactions that the congressional information technology (IT) staffers controlled, the report said.
The Awan brothers had provided IT services since 2005 for Wasserman Schultz and dozens of other House Democrats, including members of the intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. Those positions likely gave them access to congressional emails and other sensitive documents, the Daily Caller report said.
A spokesman for Wasserman Schultz did not respond to the Daily Caller’s questions on Feb. 20 about Imran’s employment status. As of Feb. 6, she had declined to fire Imran, the report said.
Investigators in the case found that congressional information was being copied to an off-site server and they suspect the brothers of improperly accessing information and stealing congressional property. Chiefs of staff for the employing Democrats were notified Feb. 2.
Soon after Imran began working for members of Congress, Imran’s and Abid’s wives — Hina Alvi and Natalia Sova — also began receiving congressional paychecks, the Daily Caller report found. Imran’s employers included two members of the intelligence committee, Indiana Democrat Rep. Andre Carson and California Democrat Rep. Jackie Speier.
The youngest Awan brother, Jamal, was placed on the House payroll at 20 years of age and makes $160,000, far higher than others in similar jobs, the Daily Caller report said.