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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Wasserman Schultz Threatened Police Chief For Gathering Evidence On Her IT Staffer’s

    Wasserman Schultz Threatened Police Chief For Gathering Evidence On Her IT Staffer’s Alleged Crimes [video]

    Investigative Reporter
    9:53 AM 05/24/2017

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatened the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police with “consequences” for holding equipment that she says belongs to her in order to build a criminal case against a Pakistani staffer suspected of massive cybersecurity breaches involving funneling sensitive congressional data offsite.

    The Florida lawmaker used her position on the committee that sets the police force’s budget to press its chief to relinquish the piece of evidence Thursday, in what could be considered using her authority to attempt to interfere with a criminal investigation.

    The Capitol Police and outside agencies are pursuing Imran Awan, who has run technology for the Florida lawmaker since 2005 and was banned from the House network in February on suspicion of data breaches and theft.

    “My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,” Wasserman Schultz said in the annual police budget hearing of the House Committee On Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee.

    “We can’t return the equipment,” Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa told the Florida Democrat.

    “I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences,” Wasserman Schultz said.

    Rep. Wasserman Schultz promises “consequences” for Capitol Police chief investigating her staffer. (Screen shot/House Committee on Appropriations video)

    As one of eight members of the Committee on Appropriations’ Legislative Branch subcommittee, Wasserman Schultz is in charge of the budget of the police force that is investigating her staffer and how he managed to extract so much money and information from members.

    In a highly unusual exchange, the Florida lawmaker uses a hearing on the Capitol Police’s annual budget to spend three minutes repeatedly trying to extract a promise from the chief that he will return a piece of evidence being used to build an active case.o

    “If a Member loses equipment and it is found by your staff and identified as that member’s equipment and the member is not associated with any case, it is supposed to be returned. Yes or no?” she said.

    Police tell her it is important to “an ongoing investigation,” but presses for its return anyway.

    A federal employee with knowledge of the situation and who requested anonymity told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group that as House authorities closed in on Imran Awan and his brothers, a laptop used by Imran was hidden in an unused crevice of the Rayburn House Office Building. Wasserman Schultz’s office is in Longworth House Office Building, a separate structure.

    The laptop was later found by Capitol Police and seized because it was relevant to the criminal investigation, the source said.

    The investigation is examining members’ data leaving the network and how Awan managed to get Members to place three relatives and a friend into largely no-show positions on their payrolls, billing $4 million since 2010.

    (RELATED: Suspects Could Read Every Email Congressmen Sent And Received)

    The congresswoman characterizes the evidence as “belonging” to her and argues that therefore it cannot be seized unless Capitol Police tell her that she personally, as opposed to her staffer, is a target of the investigation.

    US Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa. (Screen shot/House Committee on Appropriations video)

    When TheDCNF asked Wasserman Schultz Monday if it could inquire about her strong desire for the laptop, she said “No, you may not.” After TheDCNF asked why she wouldn’t want the Capitol Police to have any evidence they may need to find and punish any hackers of government information, she abruptly turned around in the middle of a stairwell and retreated back to the office from which she had come.

    Her spokesman, David Dameron, then emerged to say “We just don’t have any comment.”

    Though on the surface Wasserman Schultz would have been a victim of Awan’s scam, she has inexplicably protected him, circumventing the network ban by re-titling him as an “adviser” instead of technology administrator.

    Politico described him and his wife, Hina Alvi, as having a “friendly personal relationship” with both Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York.
    That baffled a Democratic IT staffer, who said “I can’t imagine why she’d be that good of friends with a technology provider.”

    “Usually if someone does bad stuff, an office is going to distance themselves” rather than incur political fallout for a mere staffer, he added.

    (RELATED: House IT Aides Fear Suspects Are Blackmailing Members With Their Own Data)

    Wasserman Schultz resigned as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2016 after Wikileaks published thousands of internal emails obtained by an as-yet unidentified hacker.

    The last 30 seconds of the exchange can also be seen here.

    DWS: I’d like to know how Capitol Police handle equipment that belongs to a member or staffer that’s been lost in the Capitol complex and found or recovered by one of your officers. What happens?
    Chief: It’s processed on a PD-81 which is a property record, and depending on the property, depending on how you can legitimately determine ownership, it’s generally turned back over to the owner of a property. If it’s part of an ongoing case, then there are other things that have to occur for that to happen.
    DWS: So if a member says there is equipment that has been lost, and you find it it would be returned to the member?
    Chief: In a general sense, yes. You have to be able to positively identify the property and be able to establish ownership.
    DWS: If ownership is established…
    Chief: If it’s part of an ongoing case, then there are additional things that need to be done.
    DWS: But if a member owns the equipment, and there is no ongoing case related to that member, then the equipment is supposed to be returned.
    Chief: In a general sense, yes.
    DWS: No, I mean in a specific sense. If the member loses the equipment, says they lose the equipment, and it is found by the Capitol Police, it is supposed to be returned.
    Chief: If ownership has been established, it will be returned. If it’s subject to an ongoing investigation, there are additional things–
    DWS: OK, but not an ongoing investigation related to that member. If the equipment belongs to the member, it has been lost, they say it’s been lost and it’s been identified as that member’s, then the Capitol Police are supposed to return it.
    Chief: I can’t give a yes or no answer on that, because I know–
    DWS: It’s a simple yes or no answer. If a member loses equipment and it is found by your staff and identified as that member’s equipment and the member is not associated with any case, it is supposed to be returned. Yes or no.
    Chief: It depends on the circumstances.
    DWS: I don’t understand how that is possible. Members’ equipment is members’ equipment. My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate members’ equipment when the member is not under investigation. It is their equipment and it is supposed to be returned.
    Chief: I think there are extenuating circumstances in this case, and working through my counsel and the necessary personnel, if that in fact is the case, and with the permission of through the investigation, then we’ll return the equipment. But until that happens we can’t return the equipment.
    DWS: I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences.

    Read the rest

    A Continuing DCNF Investigative Group Series

    The IT guys in the House criminal probe could read these members' emails

    The Awans and their associates collected $5 million from congressional offices.
    These bars represent how they got that much money while allegedly fleecing taxpayers.
    The money is broken down by year, congressional office and payment to
    Imran, Abid and Jamal Awan and Hina Alvi, Natalia Sova and Rao Abbas.

    See the Chart at the link
    Judy likes this.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    See Also.
    Pakistani Suspects In House IT Probe Received $4 Million From Dem Reps
    Investigative Reporter
    9:12 PM 03/01/2017274

    An Alleged Muslim Spy Ring – Why Rex Tillerson Was Right To Clean House

    February 10, 2017 / Duane / 8 Comments

    Prison time predicted in Dems' national-security scandal
    Posted By Garth Kant On 02/15/2017
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  3. #3
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    LOL!! And the plot thickens.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie


    House IT guys suspected in a security breach film their father sign a document later involved in fraud allegations / Fairfax County Court lawsuit evidence

    House Dems’ IT Administrator A Charming, ‘Cunning’ Con Artist, Associates Say

    Investigative Reporter
    9:20 PM 07/15/2017

    A Pakistani-born House IT administrator suspected of misusing access to congressional files is a charming, dishonest manipulator with an unquenchable thirst for money, a dozen people who know him personally said in interviews with The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

    Relatives said that Imran Awan had such a penchant for taking advantage of people that his stepmother called the police and accused him of extortion, while his father changed his last name so he wouldn’t share it with his son.

    Awan had full access to the emails and files of dozens of members of Congress, and is the target of a Capitol Police criminal investigation into, as Politico described it, “committing serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network.”

    However, members of Congress have not treated the situation as a potential security breach, instead saying that they trust Imran and do not think he would sell their data or use it for nefarious purposes like blackmail.

    Among almost every person interviewed by TheDCNF, those who know him — including close relatives — described Imran as a savvy person and a calculating tactician who had tried to scam them.

    In one example of that, he filmed a bizarre video — viewable below — of his father signing a financial document that he correctly anticipated would become subject of fraud allegations. He flaunted his supposed power in government, many said.

    “He’s a very charming guy, charismatic, you’d like him,” said one person who rents a house from Imran. “He’s brilliant, knowledgeable about everything.” The family owns multiple real estate assets, but renters said Imran wanted rental payments in cash.

    Congress paid him and family members $4 million between 2009 and 2016. His younger brothers, Abid and Jamal, and his wife Hina appeared on the House payroll at chief-of-staff level salaries, even as Imran brought in additional income in other ways.

    Politico described Democratic Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Gregory Meeks of New York as having a “friendly personal relationship” with Imran and his wife.

    Meeks said he saw no evidence of anything “nefarious,” and Wasserman Schultz refused to fire him even though the House Sergeant-at-Arms has banned him from the network.

    “Imran is very cunning and shady,” said Cristal Perpignan, a federal manager who rented a house from Imran, and who had repeated run-ins with him over money. “He gives you a sob story and you believe him.” Imran told her and other renters that his name was Alec.

    Imran manipulated a high school buddy, Haseeb Rana, by having him do the work of Imran’s relatives — who fellow IT guys said were rarely seen — while earning less money than them, Haseeb’s father Tanwir said.

    Imran is outgoing and relishes displays of power and influence. “My son is quiet, Imran is the opposite of that. He has pictures of him shaking hands with all the officials,” Rana said.

    In addition to prominently displaying pictures of him with high officials, including former President Bill Clinton, “he had a huge picture of Mecca on the wall” of his home, one acquaintance said.

    But the Awan brothers are said to be not particularly religious. “If they were real Muslims, they wouldn’t treat people like this,” a relative said. Abid Awan has had repeated arrests for alcohol-related offenses.

    Acquaintances described a confidence that turned into boldness. “They’re obviously brazen,” a renter said. Fellow IT workers said that the sheer number of congressional offices that eventually added them to their payroll seemed suspicious, as if the brothers didn’t know when to stop.

    In a Capitol Hill culture in which staff keep their heads down, Imran made sure to tell people to whom he owed money or wanted to collect money from that he worked for the “U.S. House of Representatives,” according to court documents and interviews. His home displays a massive blue congressional seal on a first-floor window.

    Court records and interviews indicate that Imran controlled the money in his family as a pooled asset.

    While employed by the House, the brothers — with Imran in charge — also ran a car dealership that received $100,000 from an Iraqi politician wanted by the U.S. government, a business partner, Nasir Khattak, said in court.

    The dealership’s financial books had “very bad record-keeping” and “no documentation” where “it is close to impossible to make any sense of all the transactions,” Khattak testified.

    When the company racked up debts, Abid filed bankruptcy to discharge them, leaving Imran’s assets intact.

    Ownership of houses was transferred between family members in unusual ways, and Imran represented himself as the owner of houses that, on paper, were owned by others, potentially making it harder for law enforcement to seize assets.

    The Awan brothers’ mother died in a car crash in Pakistan, and a business associate described Imran as having “raised” his youngest brother Jamal.

    Their father despised his sons’ behavior so strongly he changed his last name to Shah — his son-in-law’s surname — according to court records and relatives.

    The brothers’ stepmother, Samina Gilani, said in court documents that her husband was angry, in part because they had stolen disability checks from him. On their father’s deathbed, however, the brothers convinced him to let them steward his assets, perhaps in part because his second wife did not speak English or drive motor vehicles.

    Days before he died on Jan. 16, 2017, their father agreed to transfer management of his life insurance policy to Abid, and the brothers recorded a video of him signing it. That change did not remove Gilani as beneficiary.


    Around that time, Gilani called Fairfax County, Va., police. “Imran Awan threatened that he is very powerful and if I ever call the police again, [he] will … kidnap my family members back in Pakistan,” she later claimed in court documents. She said the brothers were forcing her to sign a different document giving them access to family money in Pakistan.

    Coincidentally, shortly thereafter, House officials told congressmen in February 2017 that the family was the subject of a criminal investigation involving abusing their congressional posts.

    Despite the apparent nepotism and high salaries the Awans were paid, the normally confident Imran was stunned. “He was a very different person… If he killed himself, I wouldn’t be surprised,” a renter said.

    Yet despite the official attention on them, the brothers insisted on taking the $50,000 life insurance money by removing their father’s second wife as beneficiary after his death, triggering a court case to sort out the rightful recipient. They also kicked Gilani out of her home, even though they owned numerous other houses.

    A judge said it was unusual that the brothers moved so quickly for the money as their stepmom was mourning the father’s death. Their lawyer, James Bacon, said they needed the money but offered no explanation regarding why.

    Gilani’s lawyer, Michael Hadeed, said thatthe brothers committed insurance fraud. Their desire for an extra $50,000 on top of the millions from Congress could have unintended side effects as it relates to the congressional probe. Because of the lawsuit, “we can go forward with discovery” to get detailed information about their finances, Hadeed said.

    Investigative Group reporter Ethan Barton contributed to this report.

    Read the rest

    A Continuing DCNF Investigative Group Series

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