What more can a criminal defense attorney say when his client is busted at Dulles International Airport trying to leave the country to evade prosecution for allegedly defrauding the Congressional Credit Union of $165,000?
He can blame the arrest as a “right-wing media-driven prosecution” by the Trump Administration.
That is exactly what Attorney Chris Gowen did while defending his client, Imran Awan, the now famous IT House staffer who has been under federal investigation for months.
Gowen even went as far as to play the religion card, adding that his client was being unjustly prosecuted for “working while Muslim.”
Awan and his family worked for years for the likes of Democratic members of Congress Ted Deutch, Alcee Hasting, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, among others, and was finally fired by Wasserman Schultz after his arrest and not guilty plea.
Awan’s alleged scheme to defraud may have taken a more sinister turn, as part of the money he is accused of stealing was wired to two other individuals in another city in Pakistan.
The former IT staffer’s wife and kids had already left the country and are currently living in Pakistan, and from the looks of it, Awan was not going to be returning to the U.S. anytime soon.
Awan is accused of attempting to defraud the Congressional Federal Credit Union by obtaining a $165,000 home equity loan for a rental property, which is against the credit union’s policies since it is not the owner’s primary residence. Those funds were then included as part of a wire transfer to two individuals in Faisalabad, Pakistan.-POLITICO
You can bet that federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies are eager to find out the complete backgrounds of these to Pakistanis.
To add insult to injury, the FBI has also recently seized Awan’s destroyed hard drives from his DC area home after a Marine Corp veteran found the computer equipment in his neighbor’s garbage. The Capitol Police, who are working with NCIS and the FBI, have also seized computer equipment being linked to Rep. Wasserman Schultz.
One of the new tenants — a Marine Corps veteran married to a female Navy Officer — said he found “wireless routers, hard drives that look like they tried to destroy, laptops, [and] a lot of brand new expensive toner.”
The tenants called the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and, not long after, FBI agents arrived together with the Capitol Police to interview them and confiscate the equipment. The Marine spoke on condition of anonymity because of concerns for his wife’s naval career, saying she doesn’t want to be associated with a national security incident.
“It was in the garage. They recycled cabinets and lined them along the walls. They left in a huge hurry,” the Marine said. “It looks like government-issued equipment. We turned that stuff over.”–The Daily Caller
Wasserman Schultz’s Republican congressional opponents, Navy veteran and nurse Carla Spalding, expressed her concerns over Awan’s attempt to flee the country.
“I am deeply concerned at the reports that a long-time aide in the Office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has been arrested at the airport attempting to flee the country and is under investigation for crimes against the United States.”–Carla Spalding