The congressional IT staffer working for the office of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and over 20 other Democratic House members, was arrested Monday by the FBI while attempting to flee the country from Dulles International Airport in Virginia.
Fox News reported that Imran Awan was arrested Monday night at the Dulles airport in Virginia 30 miles outside Washington D.C. and charged with bank fraud.
Awan has been under criminal investigation by the FBI and Capitol Police for "a scheme that involved double-charging the House for IT equipment," as well as sending sensitive congressional information off the secure House network in violation of cybersecurity law.
Despite declaring bankruptcy in 2012 to avoid paying debts and insisting for years that he and his wife are divorcing (the two are still together) so they could keep two houses during the bankruptcy proceedings, Awan and four other family members -- including Awan's two brothers, Awan's wife, and one of his brother's wives -- have made millions of dollars on the payrolls of multiple House members, for mostly no show, bare bones jobs.
Daily Caller investigative reporter Luke Rosiak told Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney:
"The suspects in this probe are people who worked for a long time for Democratic members in the House… brothers named Imran Awan, Abid Awan and Jamal Awan and they are criminal suspects, they worked for, Imran worked for Debbie Wasserman Schultz for a long time,” Daily Caller investigative reporter Luke Rosiak told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.
Soon after this guy Imran started working for Debbie Wasserman Schultz all of his relatives appeared on the payroll and they collected $4 million, very unusual."
Despite a criminal investigation that began in February and a Capitol Police ban on access to the House network (leading most House members to cut ties with the Awans and terminate their employment), US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz kept Imran Awan on her payroll and didn't terminate his employment until Tuesday, the day after his arrest.
Before attempting to flee to Pakistan, Imran Awan wired $283,000 to his home country, where his wife Hina Alvi has already fled amid the Capitol Police investigation. She was confronted by police at the airport where she was found with $12,000 in cash in her carry on bag, but permitted to leave the country with her children.
The Capitol Police investigation was reported by Politico and The Daily Caller at the beginning of February. The timing of Imran Awan's attempt to flee the country on Monday may have been precipitated by a Daily Caller report that the FBI was investigating Awan and seized smashed hard drives from his house.
Although a number of disconcerting facts raise many serious questions about the Awans' activities, it's not yet clear exactly what all the family was doing. However, it does appear that Imran Awan was trying to cover his tracks.
Many people took to the comment sections of my previous reports as this story unfolded to say this was fake news (despite the payroll records being public, despite the news of the investigation being public, despite publicly available court records and affidavits, despite Wasserman Schultz on camera during a congressional hearing talking about the investigation). These people have to acknowledge at this point how very real this news is.
IVN wasn't one of the few reporting it because it was fake. IVN was one of the few reporting it because it is independent. Fake news doesn't make it past the editor's desk here.