Imran Awan, the former information technology aide to multiple Democratic members of Congress, including Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, was indicted Thursday on four charges including bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
Also indicted was Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, who also worked as an IT aide in Democratic congressional offices.
The charges don’t have a direct relationship to their work in congressional offices, but the criminal charges add to the political heat directed toward their congressional employers, especially Wasserman Schultz.
Awan, 37, and Alvi, 33, were charged with:
— Conspiracy to commit bank fraud, false statements on a loan or credit application and unlawful monetary transactions.
— Bank fraud.
— Making false statements on a loan or credit application.
— Engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
Here’s what happened, according to the indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C.:
The couple conspired to obtain home equity lines of credit on rental properties that weren’t actually residences they lived in, the indictment alleges. They obtained the home equity lines of credit in the amounts of $165,000 and $120,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union, which has a policy of not extending such lines of credit when the property securing the loans is rental property.
“It was further part of the conspiracy that Awan and Alvi then transferred the funds obtained from those home equity lines of credit to individuals in Pakistan by directly initiating a wire transfer of those funds from Alvi’s checking account at CFCU to Pakistan,” the indictment states.
The unlawful monetary transactions involved “commerce in criminally derived property of a value greater than $10,000, that was derived from bank fraud and false statements on a loan or credit application.”
The indictment also alleges that on an online applications submitted in Alvi’s name for home equity lines of credit listed Awan’s cellphone number issued by the House of Representatives.
In January, the indictment states, Awan and Alvi went to the credit union branch in the Longworth House Office Building to initiate a $283,000 wire transfer to two people in Faisalabad, Pakistan. On the same day, a wire transfer specialist at the credit union called the number on the wire transfer request form and asked to speak with Alvi. “Awan answered the phone and pretended to be Alvi,” the indictment states.
During the conversation, Awan stated the money was for “funeral arrangements.” The credit union employee questioned the size of the transfer for that purpose and “Awan then changed his reason to ‘purchasing property.'”
On the same day, Alvi applied for a “financial hardship withdrawal” from her thrift savings plan. That’s a form of retirement account for federal government employees similar to 401(k) plans in the private sector.
“Alvi stated that the withdrawal was for ‘medical expenses,'” the indictment stated. That money was used to pay down home equity lines of credit.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington said no arraignment date has been set. The office said it wouldn’t comment beyond the indictment.
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