Imran Awan is the biggest name you probably have never heard of.
On Tuesday, Awan attempted to leave the country for Pakistan but was arrested for bank fraud amidst allegations of claiming a rental property as his primary home. Awan has worked as an IT worker for at least 25 House Democrats, most notably the disgraced ex-chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). He is being investigated for allegedly stealing equipment from a number of these House members and being behind a data breach.
Here are seven things you need to know about Awan.
1. Awan has been described as “very cunning and shady.” Cristal Perpignan told The Daily Caller that she once rented a house from Awan and has “had repeated run-ins with him over money.”
“Imran is very cunning and shady,” Perpignan said. “He gives you a sob story and you believe him.”
Another renter of Awan’s told the Caller that he’s “a very charming guy” who is very “charismatic.” If these descriptions of Awan are accurate, then that paints the picture of a typical manipulator for personal gain.
2. In addition to the accusation of bank fraud, Awan has been accused of life insurance fraud. Awan and his brothers Jamal and Abid convinced their father let them handle his assets as he was dying, even though their father had changed his surname to disassociate from his sons for, among other things, allegedly stealing his disability checks. Shortly after the Awan brothers’ father passed away, they allegedly took out $50,000 on the life insurance policy and booted their stepmother, Samina Gilani, off the insurance policy and out of her home. Gilani alleges that Awan bugged her house with audio devices and threatened to kidnap her family in Pakistan if she prevented them from accessing their father’s assets in Pakistan.
3. Awan and his brothers ran a car dealership that reportedly took out a loan from an Iraqi doctor with ties to a Hezbollah figure that has yet to be paid off. The car dealership, Cars International A, received a $100,000 loan from Dr. Ali Attar, who according to The Daily Caller, was seen “conversing with a Hezbollah official” soon after he gave the loan to the car dealership. Attar has faced allegations of insurance and tax fraud:
After moving to the U.S., Attar made his money practicing medicine in Maryland and Virginia and defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies by billing for non-existent medical procedures. The FBI raided his offices in 2009 and the Department of Health and Human Services sued his business partner in 2011.
Attar was indicted in March 2012 on separate tax fraud charges after the IRS and FBI found he used multiple bank accounts to hide income. He fled back to Iraq to avoid prison.
“He’s a fugitive. I am not aware of any extradition treaty with Iraq,” Marcia Murphy, spokesman for federal prosecutors in Maryland, told TheDCNF Tuesday. “If or when he returns to the U.S., the prosecution will continue.”
The car dealership itself has failed due to the mountains of debt piled up due to poor financial management of the company.
4. Awan and his brothers have been involved in other shady activity. Via The Daily Caller:
Hina Alvi, Imran’s wife, bought two homes in Lorton in 2008, including one that all the brothers have been associated with at one time. In November 2016, Alvi sold that home to the youngest brother, Jamal, who is only 22 years of age, for $620,000. The criminal investigation began in late 2016.
The transaction capitalized on increasing Washington, D.C., real estate appraisals, netting her $150,000, while almost all the cost was incurred to the bank; Jamal put almost no money down.
Alvi’s husband, Imran, also owned a house in Springfield, which he put in his father’s name in 2008. Abid later claimed in bankruptcy that the house was his.
5. The Awans’ IT work allowed them access to the emails of any files stored on the computers of the congressmen they worked for. This includes congressmen who serve on intelligence and foreign affairs committees, which makes it all the more perturbing that the brothers are suspected of being behind a major data breach in the system in February, which resulted in them being banned from the network. However, Wasserman Schultz decided to keep Awan on her staff by designating him as an “adviser” and threatened Capitol police for seizing a laptop related to the investigation that she claimed belonged to her. She only fired Awan after his arrest.
Capitol Hill staffers have claimed that the Awans didn’t access classified information.
6. Awan also had access to the password for Wasserman Schultz’s iPad. DNC emails show the assistant to the chair, Amy Kroll, stating that the Awan brothers had the password to Wasserman Schultz’s iPad, which would mean he likely had access to DNC emails.
7. Awan had wired almost $300,000 to himself when he tried to leave for Pakistan. When he asked for the wire, Awan claimed it was for “funeral arrangements.” When that explanation didn’t fly with the bank, Awan instead claimed it was for “buying property,” which was enough to obtain approval for the wire.
This story, which could be potentially be a blockbuster story, raises a myriad of questions, which Ben Shapiro discusses here.