Imran Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, will be in court Friday to face charges in their indictment for bank fraud after lying to secure a loan and then wiring the ill-gotten gains to Pakistan.
Of course, anyone following the Imran Awan story knows it is much more intriguing than a simple case of fraud. Awan, along with his wife, brothers, and a family friend, were once employed by Democratic congressional members’ offices as IT professionals and were banned from the House networks in February of this year.
The investigation of the family has alluded to the improper movement of data onto an illegal server, obstructing a police investigation by providing falsified information to authorities, and allegations of Awan using his position on the Hill to menace and harass women, including a family member.
But one of the crime family’s moves that attracted the attention of police was the falsification of invoices to show expensive tech equipment as less expensive than it actually was so the Awans could get around shipping regulations requiring equipment be sent directly to members’ offices. By lying about the cost of the equipment, the Awans were able to have it sent to private residences — including their own — instead.
The Daily Caller, citing The Washington Post, is now reporting that the Awans, through lawyers, are now blaming members of Congress for the falsified invoices saying changes to invoices and misrepresentation of how budgets are spent is business as usual on the Hill.
The Washington Post reported Sept. 17 that Abid Awan’s attorney, James Bacon, responded to a question about why orders were falsified to show amounts less than $500 by saying, “In a fluid situation you do what you’re ordered to do.” Any missing equipment, Bacon said, “disappeared after it was brought to the folks who were demanding it. … It sounds to me like there’s a lot of scapegoating here.”
Christopher J. Gowen, one of Imran’s lawyers, added in The Washington Post: “There’s nothing that Imran did that wasn’t requested by one of his clients on House staff.”
Luke Rosiak of The Daily Caller, who has been covering this strange story from the outset, noted that Democratic members who had employed members of the ring have not been eager to dispute or charge the Awans in their procurement scam.
Members’ muted response is difficult to square with the fact that Democrats were the ones whose data was in jeopardy and that they have spoken passionately about the importance of cybersecurity, particularly in the context of Russia. Fifteen of the 17 female members of Congress tied to the Awans would not even express concern to TheDCNF when provided with police reports showing multiple women called the cops on Imran, with one saying she felt “like a slave.”
Rosiak’s report also notes that in addition to blaming members for the falsification of invoices, the Awans are also blaming “CDW Government, a major government contractor that provided the equipment in question.” A senior House official told Rosiak that an employee of that company “agreed to alter the invoices at Imran’s request.”