Imran Awan, a former IT aide to Florida Congresswoman and former Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was indicted Thursday on four counts related to bank fraud.
The indictment, which includes Awan’s wife Hina Alvi, involves an alleged scheme to defraud the Congressional Federal Credit Union.
Awan and his wife are believed to have given false statements to the Congressional Federal Credit Union in order to receive home equity lines of credit.
The couple then sent almost $300,000 to people living in Pakistan.
The decision by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia comes about a month after Awan was apprehended by authorities at Dulles Airport near Washington while attempting to catch a plane to Pakistan, his country of origin.
It appears Awan and his wife made arrangements to leave the United States after being placed under a separate investigation by the FBI for various IT abuses, including equipment theft and double-billing. Both worked as highly paid IT aides for congressional Democrats.
Alvi, however, was successful in fleeing the country.
In March, she withdrew her children from school and boarded a plane to Qatar with no return ticket. Capitol police searched her at the airport and found $12,400 in her bags, but they were unable to stop her from leaving.
Awan began his IT work in Congress as an information technology director in 2004. He started working for Shultz in 2005.
Not long after Awan began working for Shultz, four of his relatives appeared on the payroll of other Democratic lawmakers at unusually high wages. The whole family reportedly took in around $4 million in taxpayer-funded salaries since 2009.
While working on Capitol Hill, Awan and his family had exclusive access to emails and other information of many members of Congress.
However, they were all banned from the Capitol network in February after authorities revealed they were under investigation for theft and IT abuses.
Unlike other Democratic members of Congress who promptly fired Awan upon learning about the investigation, Shultz refused to terminate him.
Shultz took unprecedented steps to allow Awan to remain on her staff payroll, claiming he was the victim of anti-Muslim bigotry.
The Florida Democrat at one point refused to hand over to authorities a laptop pertaining to the case. She finally allowed police to scan the computer after months of stonewalling.
Shultz finally fired Awan after he was arrested in July attempting to flee the country.
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source: Western Journalism