Federal authorities have arrested former Congressional IT staffer Imran Awan on one charge of bank fraud. Awan was arrested at Dulles Airport, where he was attempting to fly to Lahore, Pakistan by way of Qatar. He had just attempted to wire $283,000 to two people in Pakistan, his country of origin. His wife fled to Pakistan earlier, along with their two children and a suitcase holding $12,000 in cash. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has seized smashed hard drives from the family’s home.
Arwan’s former boss, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, fired him immediately after his arrest. Every other member of Congress that Arwan worked for fired him in February, when he was found to be double-billing the cost of equipment.
It’s shocking that Wasserman-Schultz still had Arwan on her payroll at all. Though he only worked for her part time, it’s hard to imagine what IT work he could have been doing – he’s had no access to the House computer system since his fraud came to light in February.
His former bosses seem unbothered by the fact that such a person worked for them and had access to government information. Wasserman-Schultz has thus far refused a request by the Capitol Police to go through her laptop as part of the Arwan investigation.
Mediaite cites unnamed Democratic sources who claim that the suspicion surrounding the Arwans stems from Islamophobia. However, the suspicion really seems to stem from the double-billing, smashed hard drives, and shady money transfers.
Whatever Arwan was doing, it was a family affair. As Red Alert Politics previously reported, Arwan’s wife, sister-in-law, and two brothers are former House staffers. The Daily Caller estimates that over $5 million in taxpayer money has been paid out to the five of them since 2003.
As “shared staffers,” the Arwans could be hired by any House Democrat .The Daily Caller estimates that family members appear on as many as 80 different Members of Congress’ payrolls.
Arwan’s recent arrest has nothing to do with his “work” on Capitol Hill. Instead, the FBI accused him of lying on bank documents to secure a fraudulent mortgage. Arwan plead not guilty to the charge. He remains in Virginia, where he must wear a GPS monitor and is subject to a curfew.