by WorldTribune Staff, August 18, 2017
The former IT aide to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other congressional Democrats has been indicted in federal court on four felony counts, including conspiracy and making false statements.
A grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued the indictments on Aug. 17, about a month after Imran Awan was arrested at Dulles airport in Virginia as he attempted to board a plane to Pakistan.
The criminal charges returned by the grand jury include bank fraud; making false statements on a loan or credit application; engaging in unlawful monetary transactions and conspiracy to commit bank fraud; false statements on a loan or credit application and unlawful monetary transactions.
Awan, 37, had earlier pleaded not guilty to a single count of bank fraud.
Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, also was indicted on Aug. 17.
Related: Another Democrat scandal: Major IT shakedown on the Hill filtered out by major media, May 25, 2017
According to a report by Fox News, Awan and other IT aides for House Democrats “have been on investigators’ radar for months over concerns of possible double-billing, alleged equipment theft, and access to sensitive computer systems.”
Most of the House Democrats fired Awan in February, but Wasserman Schultz kept him on until his arrest in July.
Wasserman Schultz suggested the targeting of Awan was part of an effort to distract from the investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“Any opportunity they can to pull people’s eyes and ears away from that they take,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Her colleagues in Congress, though, say there are serious security implications in Awan’s case.
“We have to investigate how our systems may have been compromised,” Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican, recently told “Fox & Friends.”
Awan and other family members performed IT-related work on Capitol Hill for House Democrats for years. According to The Daily Caller, the members of the Pakistani family made at least $4 million since 2009.