Key Congressman Pressures Sessions For Deeper Probe Of Imran Awan’s Finances
A key member of Congress urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wednesday to use a special Department of the Treasury unit to determine if any U.S. financial institutions have reported suspicious activity by Imran Awan or his wife on any bank accounts.
Awan and his wife, Hina, his brothers Abid and Jamal, and Rao Abbas, his best friend, all are former information technology (IT) aides to dozens of House Democrats. They are suspects in the probe by the FBI and the U.S. Capitol Police into allegations the five compromised the congressional IT network by abusing their access to it and stole government computer equipment.
Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis, who chairs the House oversight panel’s national security subcommittee, questioned Sessions regarding the criminal investigation of Awan in a letter released by his office.
“Given the alarming amount of funds that were wired to Pakistan, has the Department of Justice utilized the United States Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to investigate the financial records of Awan and Alvi to discover evidence of other potential crimes?” DeSantis asked Sessions in the letter.
“Have any U.S. financial institutions filed reports of suspicious activity on any bank account held by Awan or his wife?” he added. “Is the Department of Justice investigating whether any funds generated from the sale of stolen property of the House of Representatives were included as part of the wire transfer to Faisalabad, Pakistan? Finally, will the Department seek a court order freezing the proceeds of any real estate transaction or from the sale of stolen technological equipment?”
Awan was arrested July 25 at Dulles International Airport trying to flee the U.S. He and the four other former aides had access to the emails and office files of the congressmen who shared their services as IT aides. Collectively, the group were paid $4 million for their work between 2009 and 2016. A number of the member who hired them are members of the House intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees.
The wire transfer DeSantis mentioned was of nearly $300,000 by Imran Awan just before he tried to board a flight from Dulles to Pakistan. Hina Alvi Awan and the couple’s three children were allowed to board a March flight after a search of their baggage found more than $12,000 in cash, according to court documents filed by the FBI following Imran’s arrest.
There are concerns that Awan may have transferred more money to Pakistan because he was trying to sell several houses he owned in Northern Virginia.
“The allegations levied against Imran Awan are alarming and could have serious national security ramifications,” DeSantis said in a statement accompanying release of his letter to Sessions. “The Department of Justice must work to immediately mitigate the damage done by Awan and take whatever measures are necessary, including freezing illicit funds, in order to fully investigate this incident.”
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