Former Wasserman-Schultz IT staffer arrested at airport trying to leave the country

A former I.T. staffer for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was arrested at Dulles International Airport trying to flee the country for Pakistan.  Imran Awan worked for the former chairman of the DNC as well as about a dozen other Democratic lawmakers.  Wasserman Schultz fired Awan on Tuesday, despite the fact he had been under investigation for months.

Awan was arrested for bank fraud after illegally securing a loan from a federal credit union for $300,000.  He wired the money to Pakistan to unknown associates.

But the primary focus of the investigation is into Awan's handling of data stored on the server used by Democratic congressmen.  It is strongly suspected that some of that data was sent back to Pakistan.  The FBI seized several ruined hard drives from Awan's place of residence on Monday and also secured a laptop used by Wasserman Schultz.

Fox News:

Law enforcement authorities for months have been looking into how Awan may have double-billed the House for equipment like computers, iPads, monitors, keyboards and routers. Several relatives of Awan worked for House Democrats and were fired months ago. Awan, however, was kept on staff by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., even though he was no longer allowed access to the House server network.

Wasserman Schultz, though, has now fired Awan. Spokesman David Damron said Tuesday in a statement:

"Mr. Awan previously served as a part-time employee but his services have been terminated. No charges, evidence or findings from the investigation have been formally shared with our office, so we cannot comment on them."

Authorities also have looked into IT workers putting sensitive House information on the "cloud" and potentially exposing it to outside sources.

Fox News is told that federal officials arrested Awan at Dulles airport in suburban Virginia as he was "trying to leave the country." 

The criminal complaint and affidavit said he had bought a ticket to fly Monday to Doha, Qatar, and then Lahore, Pakistan, with a return flight booked for early January. The affidavit specifically alleged he engaged in a scheme to defraud a Congressional Federal Credit Union. It did not appear to go in depth into the other matters investigators have been looking into. 

Meanwhile, the counsel for Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, recently began negotiating with Capitol Police for access to her laptop in the case. Until this point, she had resisted USCP efforts to look at her computer – even suggesting "consequences" for the agency if the computer was not promptly returned.

Fox News first reported last week that arrests were coming in the case.

Awan and his relatives worked for House Democrats for more than a decade, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars. But Awan declared bankruptcy in 2012.

Awan's convoluted schemes have been going on since 2005, when he was first hired by DWS.  In addition to the fraud and other criminal activity, investigators want to know exactly what kind of information he was sharing and when he shared it.  It has also been reported that Awan had access to the personal password to an iPad used by Wasserman Schultz to access her DNC account.

Who is this guy?  A scam artist?  A terrorist plant?  A garden-variety criminal who took advantage of his Democratic contacts to enrich himself and his family?  A spy for Pakistan's intelligence agency?

Awan's attorney played the Islamophobe card:

"This is clearly a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney's Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim," Chris Gowen, Awan's attorney, said in an email declaring his client's innocence.

"A quick glance at what the government filed in court today confirms the lack of evidence or proof they have against my client."

When your client claims a rental property as a basis for a home loan, I think a little bit more is involved than Muslim-hatred.

The investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are likely.  This could blow up into a huge scandal for Democrats on the Hill, who apparently didn't ask too many questions of Awan because he is a Muslim.

A former I.T. staffer for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was arrested at Dulles International Airport trying to flee the country for Pakistan.  Imran Awan worked for the former chairman of the DNC as well as about a dozen other Democratic lawmakers.  Wasserman Schultz fired Awan on Tuesday, despite the fact he had been under investigation for months.

Awan was arrested for bank fraud after illegally securing a loan from a federal credit union for $300,000.  He wired the money to Pakistan to unknown associates.

But the primary focus of the investigation is into Awan's handling of data stored on the server used by Democratic congressmen.  It is strongly suspected that some of that data was sent back to Pakistan.  The FBI seized several ruined hard drives from Awan's place of residence on Monday and also secured a laptop used by Wasserman Schultz.

Fox News:

Law enforcement authorities for months have been looking into how Awan may have double-billed the House for equipment like computers, iPads, monitors, keyboards and routers. Several relatives of Awan worked for House Democrats and were fired months ago. Awan, however, was kept on staff by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., even though he was no longer allowed access to the House server network.

Wasserman Schultz, though, has now fired Awan. Spokesman David Damron said Tuesday in a statement:

"Mr. Awan previously served as a part-time employee but his services have been terminated. No charges, evidence or findings from the investigation have been formally shared with our office, so we cannot comment on them."

Authorities also have looked into IT workers putting sensitive House information on the "cloud" and potentially exposing it to outside sources.

Fox News is told that federal officials arrested Awan at Dulles airport in suburban Virginia as he was "trying to leave the country." 

The criminal complaint and affidavit said he had bought a ticket to fly Monday to Doha, Qatar, and then Lahore, Pakistan, with a return flight booked for early January. The affidavit specifically alleged he engaged in a scheme to defraud a Congressional Federal Credit Union. It did not appear to go in depth into the other matters investigators have been looking into. 

Meanwhile, the counsel for Wasserman Schultz, the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, recently began negotiating with Capitol Police for access to her laptop in the case. Until this point, she had resisted USCP efforts to look at her computer – even suggesting "consequences" for the agency if the computer was not promptly returned.

Fox News first reported last week that arrests were coming in the case.

Awan and his relatives worked for House Democrats for more than a decade, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars. But Awan declared bankruptcy in 2012.

Awan's convoluted schemes have been going on since 2005, when he was first hired by DWS.  In addition to the fraud and other criminal activity, investigators want to know exactly what kind of information he was sharing and when he shared it.  It has also been reported that Awan had access to the personal password to an iPad used by Wasserman Schultz to access her DNC account.

Who is this guy?  A scam artist?  A terrorist plant?  A garden-variety criminal who took advantage of his Democratic contacts to enrich himself and his family?  A spy for Pakistan's intelligence agency?

Awan's attorney played the Islamophobe card:

"This is clearly a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney's Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim," Chris Gowen, Awan's attorney, said in an email declaring his client's innocence.

"A quick glance at what the government filed in court today confirms the lack of evidence or proof they have against my client."

When your client claims a rental property as a basis for a home loan, I think a little bit more is involved than Muslim-hatred.

The investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are likely.  This could blow up into a huge scandal for Democrats on the Hill, who apparently didn't ask too many questions of Awan because he is a Muslim.

RECENT VIDEOS