An information technology (IT) staffer for the former chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was arrested on Monday while attempting to flee the country, just days after news surfaced that federal agents seized computer hard drives from his former home.
Imran Awan was charged with bank fraud on Tuesday and forbidden to leave the country while charges are pending, according to Politico.
Awan, his three relatives, and his best friend had access to emails and files from more than two dozen House Democrats who employed them. Fellow IT staffers told Daily Caller that Awan’s group had a server that transferred data to an offsite computer. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla) resigned from the DNC in 2016 after the organization’s servers were allegedly hacked.
Awan and his four associates have been under a criminal investigation by the Capitol Police since February. The FBI also joined the probe, according to an anonymous source who spoke to the Daily Caller.
Awan pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He is charged with defrauding the Congressional Federal Credit Union by securing a $165,000 loan for a rental property, which broke the bank’s rules requiring the owner to use the property as a primary residence. Awan wired the $165,000 to two people in Pakistan.
Former DNC chair Wasserman Schultz hired Awan in 2005. She kept Awan on her staff until Tuesday despite an active criminal investigation into his activities that was announced in February.
The Awan group began to appear on the payrolls of dozens of House Democrats after Awan started to work for Wasserman Schultz. They received $4 million from Democrats since 2009.
When the criminal probe was revealed in February, Awan moved out of his home and listed it for rent on a website for military families. The marine who moved into the home found hard drives, wireless routers, and cabinets lined against the wall for recycling.
“They left in a huge hurry,” the Marine told Daily Caller. “It looks like government-issued equipment. We turned that stuff over.”
Awan was arrested at Washington Airport on Monday on his way to Pakistan. His wife, Hina Alvi, already left for Pakistan with their children.
A source from the Department of Justice told Politico that Awan was released on a “high-intensity supervision program.” He is required to wear a GPS tracking device, keep a curfew, and is forbidden to go beyond 50 miles of his home in Lorton, Va. The court also forced him to surrender his passports until a preliminary hearing on August 21.