One of the fringe benefits of the recent political tensions around Charlottesville and other protests is that certain, less than flattering stories can fly under the radar. It is easy to avoid scrutiny when you are compared to literal Nazis, and Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz is no different. Recently, two of her former information technology (IT) aides were indicted for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, making false statements on a loan or credit application, and unlawful monetary transactions.
Authorities arrested Imran Awan on July 24 at Dulles International Airport on his way to Pakistan. His wife, Hina Alvi, had already left for Pakistan in March and, in the process, federal authorities found over $12,000 cash hidden in a suitcase. She does not intend to return to the United States, and it is unknown if the federal government will seek to extradite her from Pakistan.
Awan and Alvi worked as IT aides for dozens of House Democrats, according to the Daily Caller. Most of these Democrats fired the pair when the Capitol Police’s investigation went public, but Rep. Wasserman Schultz (D–Florida) maintained their employment until after Alvi fled the country in March and Awan was arrested in July.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz, who has had her fair share of scandals, defended her decision to keep Awan on her payroll. She claims that, while aware that he was suspected of “data transfer violations” she believed, unsurprisingly, that racial and ethnic profiling was involved.
The indictment, however, is far more serious than “data transfer violations” and the “honorable” representative from Florida may be confusing her IT aide with Hillary Clinton. The charges range from withdrawing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a retirement program under the false claims of medical hardship to lying on mortgage disclosures.
The Capitol Hill Bonnie and Clyde also wired money, under deceitful pretenses, to Pakistan. While impersonating his wife, Imran Awan wired $283,000 from the Wright Patman Congressional Federal Credit Union to Pakistan. When asked the reason for the transfer (as usually happens with such a large sum) Awan claimed it was for funeral arrangements.
That’s quite the pricey funeral! The wire transfer specialist was equally skeptical, and upon questioning, Awan changed his reasoning to “purchasing a property.” It was at this point that the transfer was initiated to two individuals in Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Major news sources covered this story in July after the arrest, but many quickly dismissed the story as “politically driven” or “ethnically and racially driven.” The investigation continued after Awan’s arrest and, well, here we are. Both he and his wife have been indicted on multiple counts of conspiracy.
Trouble does seem to follow Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Maybe she is cursed? Or, perhaps, just corrupt? Tell us what you think in the comments!