Former U.S. Attorney On Awan Indictment: “There Is Something Very Strange Going On Here” | Zero Hedge

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

We’ve written frequently over the past couple of months about the litany of unanswered questions surrounding the mysterious case of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (DWS) IT staffers.  Why did DWS seemingly threaten the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police with “consequences” for holding equipment that was confiscated as part of an ongoing legal investigation?  Why did DWS keep Awan on her taxpayer funded payroll all the way up until the day he was arrested by the FBI at Dulles airport while trying to flee the country to Pakistan?  What, if anything, does the Awan family know about the DNC hacks that may have caused DWS to act in this way?

Now, Andrew McCarthy III, the former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who led the prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, says there is “something very strange” about the recent indictment filed against Imran Awan and his wife Hina Alvi in the District of Columbia.

In a National Review article, McCarthy points out that it’s not what’s in the indictment that is necessarily surprising but rather what is seemingly intentionally omitted.  For instance, McCarthy points out that “the indictment appears to go out of its way not to mention” that Imran was apprehended while in the process of fleeing the country, a fact that would seem to be the best evidence available to prove the fraud charges.

 Let’s say you’re a prosecutor in Washington. You are investigating a husband and wife, naturalized Americans, who you believe have scammed a federal credit union out of nearly $300,000. You catch them in several false statements about their qualifications for a credit line and their intended use of the money. The strongest part of your case, though, involves the schemers’ transferring the loot to their native Pakistan.

So . . . what’s the best evidence you could possibly have, the slam-dunk proof that their goal was to steal the money and never look back? That’s easy: One after the other, the wife and husband pulled up stakes and tried to high-tail it to Pakistan after they’d wired the funds there — the wife successfully fleeing, the husband nabbed as he was about to board his flight.

Well, here’s a peculiar thing about the Justice Department’s indictment of Imran Awan and Hina Alvi, the alleged fraudster couple who doubled as IT wizzes for Debbie Wasserman Schultz and many other congressional Democrats: There’s not a word in it about flight to Pakistan. The indictment undertakes to describe in detail four counts of bank-fraud conspiracy, false statements on credit applications, and unlawful monetary transactions, yet leaves out the most damning evidence of guilt.

In fact, the indictment appears to go out of its way not to mention it.

Why would prosecutors leave that out of their indictment? Why give Awan’s defense a basis to claim that, since the indictment does not allege anything about flight to Pakistan, the court should bar any mention of it during the trial? In fact, quite apart from the manifest case-related reasons to plead instances of flight, a competent prosecutor would have included them in the indictment simply to underscore that Awan is a flight risk who should have onerous bail conditions or even be detained pretrial.

Then there is the case of Imran’s wife, Hina Alvi.  When she fled the country back in March she was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents with over $12,000 cash in her luggage, technically a crime by itself if not properly disclosed, but was allowed by the FBI to leave the country despite having been under investigation for months.

We must also ask, again: Why did the FBI allow Alvi to flee? Before she boarded her March 5 flight to Qatar (en route to Pakistan), agents briefly detained her. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents had already searched her baggage and found $12,400 in cash. As I have pointed out, it is a felony to move more than $10,000 in U.S. currency out of the country unless one completes the required government report (see sections 5316 and 5322 of Title 31, U.S. Code). There was no indication that she did so in the complaint affidavit submitted to the court when Awan was arrested last month (see FBI complaint affidavit, pages 8–9).


By the time Alvi fled, the Awans had been under investigation by various federal agencies for at least three months. 
The FBI was sufficiently attuned to the Awans’ criminality that its agents went to the trouble of chasing Alvi to the airport. If she didn’t fill out the required form, she should have been arrested for the currency violation. Is it possible that, rather than arresting her, federal agents instructed her to complete the form on the spot? One would hope not, but even in such an unlikely event, Alvi would undoubtedly have made false statements about the provenance of the cash. That would also have been a felony, providing more grounds for her arrest. Why let her go, especially when, as its agent told the court in the aforementioned affidavit, the FBI “does not believe that ALVI has any intention to return to the United States”?

And then there is just the continued secrecy surrounding the case.  Why did the U.S. Attorney’s office decide against filing a press release in a case that has garnered significant national attention?  Why was the case filed in a district where DWS’s brother has been an assistant U.S. attorney for many years? 

To begin with, it is not the easiest thing to get one’s hands on the indictment. The case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. There is no press release about the indictment on the office’s website, though U.S. attorneys’ offices routinely issue press releases and make charging documents available in cases of far less national prominence. (I found the indictment through the Orlando Sentinel, which obtained and posted it in conjunction with the paper’s report on the filing of charges.)

By the way, the U.S. attorney’s office is currently led by Channing D. Phillips, an Obama holdover who was never confirmed. Still awaiting Senate confirmation is Jessie Liu, nominated by President Trump in June. Meanwhile, Steven Wasserman, Representative Wasserman Schultz’s brother, has been an assistant U.S. attorney in the office for many years. I have seen no indication that he has any formal role in the case, notwithstanding some cyberspace speculation to the contrary. What is clear, however, is that the office is low-keying the Awan prosecution.

The indictment itself is drawn very narrowly. All four charges flow from a financial-fraud conspiracy of short duration. Only Imran Awan and his wife are named as defendants. There is no reference to Awan-family perfidy in connection with the House communications system.

Of course, we’re sure it’s probably nothing but at least one former U.S. Attorney says “there is something very strange going on here.”

The full Grand Jury indictment can be viewed here:

Read More: www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-22/former-us-attorney-awan-indictment-there-something-very-strange-going-here

Awan Plot Thickens As NY Democrat Yvette Clarke “Quietly” Wrote-Off $120,000 Of Missing Tech Equipment | Zero Hedge

Seth Rich, Imran Awan, Debbie Wasserman Schultz

When we reported last week that Imran Awan and his wife had been indicted by a grand jury on 4 counts, including bank fraud and making false statements related to some home equity loans, we also noted that those charges could simply be placeholders for further developments yet to come.  Now, according to a new report from the Daily Caller, the more interesting component of the FBI’s investigation could be tied to precisely why New York Democrat Representative Yvette Clarke quietly agreed in early 2016 to simply write-off $120,000 in missing electronics tied to the Awans.

 A chief of staff for Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke quietly agreed in early 2016 to sign away a $120,000 missing electronics problem on behalf of two former IT aides now suspected of stealing equipment from Congress, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.


Clarke’s chief of staff at the time effectively dismissed the loss and prevented it from coming up in future audits by signing a form removing the missing equipment from a House-wide tracking system
 after one of the Awan brothers alerted the office the equipment was gone. The Pakistani-born brothers are now at the center of an FBI investigation over their IT work with dozens of Congressional offices.

The $120,000 figure amounts to about a tenth of the office’s annual budget, or enough to hire four legislative assistants to handle the concerns of constituents in her New York district. Yet when one of the brothers alerted the office to the massive loss, the chief of staff signed a form that quietly reconciled the missing equipment in the office budget, the official told The DCNF. Abid Awan remained employed by the office for months after the loss of the equipment was flagged.

If true, of course this new information would seem to support previously reported rumors that the Awans orchestrated a long-running fraud scheme in which their office would purchase equipment in a way that avoided tracking by central House-wide administrators and then sell that equipment for a personal gain while simultaneously defrauding taxpayers of $1,000’s of dollars.

Meanwhile, according to the Daily Caller, CDW Government could have been in on the scheme.

 They’re suspected of working with an employee of CDW Government Inc. — one of the Hill’s largest technology providers — to alter invoices in order to avoid tracking. The result would be that no one outside the office would notice if the equipment disappeared, and investigators think the goal of the scheme was to remove and sell the equipment outside of Congress.

CDW spokeswoman Kelly Caraher told TheDCNF the company is cooperating with investigators, and has assurance from prosecutors its employees are not targets of the investigation. “CDW and its employees have cooperated fully with investigators and will continue to do so,” Caraher said. “The prosecutors directing this investigation have informed CDW and its coworkers that they are not subjects or targets of the investigation.”

Not surprisingly, Clarke’s office apparently felt no need whatsoever to report the $120,000 worth of missing IT equipment to the authorities…it’s just taxpayer money afterall…

 According to the official who talked to TheDCNF, Clarke’s chief of staff did not alert authorities to the huge sum of missing money when it was brought to the attention of the office around February of 2016. A request to sign away that much lost equipment would have been “way outside any realm of normalcy,” the official said, but the office did not bring it to the attention of authorities until months later when House administrators told the office they were reviewing finances connected to the Awans.

The administrators informed the office that September they were independently looking into discrepancies surrounding the Awans, including a review of finances connected to the brothers in all the congressional offices that employed them. The House administrators asked Clarke’s then-chief of staff, Wendy Anderson, whether she had noticed any anomalies, and at that time she alerted them to the $120,000 write-off, the official told TheDCNF.

Of course, the missing $120,000 covers only Clarke’s office. As we’ve noted before, Imran and his relatives worked for more than 40 current House members when they were banned from the House network in February, and have together worked for dozens more in past years so who know just how deep this particular rabbit hole goes.

Also makes you wonder what else Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the Awans might be hiding.  Certainly the decision by Wasserman-Shultz to keep Awan on her taxpayer funded payroll, right up until he was arrested by the FBI while trying to flee the country, is looking increasingly fishy with each passing day.

Read More: www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-21/awan-plot-thickens-ny-democrat-yvette-clarke-quietly-wrote-120000-missing-tech-equip

FBI Seized Crushed Hard Drives From Home Of Wasserman-Schultz’ IT Aide

Over the past few months, the story of the Awan brothers has been largely ignored by mainstream media. However, the Pakistani-born brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan are at the center of a criminal investigation by U.S. Capital Hill Police and the FBI.  While official charges have not yet been filed, allegations of wrong doing vary from simply overcharging taxpayers for congressional IT equipment to blackmailing members of Congress with secrets captured from emails.

The Awan brothers were Pakistani IT specialists, whom worked for more than 30 house and senate democrats, as well as Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The substantial scandal has raised questions about who may have been passed data which the Awans had access to, given Pakistan’s history of collaborating with a number of foreign countries who have demonstrated past willingness to influence U.S. politics.

Now, per an exclusive report from the Daily Caller, we learn that the twisted plot surrounding the Awan brothers has grown even more interesting as FBI agents have reportedly seized a number of “smashed hard drives” and other computer equipment from their former residence in Virginia.

FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s information technology (IT) administrator, according to an individual who was interviewed by Bureau investigators in the case and a high level congressional source.

Pakistani-born Imran Awan, long-time right-hand IT aide to the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman, has since desperately tried to get the hard drives back, the individual told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

The congressional source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, confirmed that the FBI has joined what Politico previously described as a Capitol Police criminal probe into “serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network” by Imran and three of his relatives, who had access to the emails and files of the more than two dozen House Democrats who employed them on a part-time basis.

Capitol Police have also seized computer equipment tied to the Florida lawmaker.

Read More: www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-24/fbi-seized-crushed-hard-drives-home-wasserman-schultz-it-aide