by Luke Rosiak and Wajid Ali Syed
Embattled former Democratic IT aide Imran Awan has as recently as weeks ago attempted to get someone to create an LLC to hide the ownership of real estate, and two people to buy a $40,000 gold bar for him, sources told The Daily Caller News Foundation. This while his lawyer has told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Imran “doesn’t have a pot to piss in.”
“He is totally unable to work and does not have a pot to piss in,” Imran attorney Chris Gowen wrote in a Feb. 27 email to TheDCNF.
Imran, who along with wife Hina Alvi worked as a server administrator for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has been the target of an FBI investigation since the House Inspector General alleged in September 2016 that he made “unauthorized access” to House servers and systematically falsified congressional financial records. Prosecutors have charged Imran and Alvi with bank fraud related to a House retirement account and a mortgage after the FBI said Imran impersonated his wife and initiated a $300,000 wire transfer to Pakistan, claiming it was for a funeral.
Investigators say the alleged congressional fraud may extend to millions of dollars. The FBI is in possession of hundreds of “Suspicious Activity Reports” detailing unusual transfers from Imran’s bank accounts, officials said.
“This is a national security issue… He should have been locked up in jail a long time ago with all his family members,” Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who serves on the Committee on the Judiciary, told TheDCNF after it briefed him on the latest findings. “Anybody that’s hiding assets by buying gold bars and trying to get people to set up LLCs, who knows what else is going on. If he’s going to those lengths there are a lot of assets here,” he said. “How much of this do [prosecutors] know? They should.”
On May 3, prosecutors said they were “currently exploring a possible resolution of this matter.”
“I can’t understand why [prosecutors would strike a plea deal], unless he’s not the biggest fish in the school,” King told TheDCNF.
The allegations add another colorful twist to a story that already includes the suspect leaving a laptop with the username RepDWS in a phone booth after he was banned from the House network; an arrest at Dulles airport with a suitcase full of cash; and the disappearance of the entire House Democratic Caucus server.
Disappearing money would be key because Republican House officials close to the probe say that not only did huge quantities of House technology equipment disappear, they suspect Imran ran a $7 million “ghost employee” scheme where no-show employees — one of whom had been most-recently worked at McDonald’s — were added to the House payroll as IT administrators.
In a deposition, Imran’s stepmom — who was interviewed by the FBI — said the bureau asked her where the money was going.
A source told TheDCNF the purpose of the new LLC Imran wanted them to create was to hold assets, including real estate, but that the assets would remain under Imran’s control.
The Awans owned numerous homes that operated as rental properties. TheDCNF interviewed most of the tenants, and all said the Awans demanded rent in the form of cash or blank money orders.
Virginia licensing documents show that Imran became a licensed real estate broker during the time period he was earning $160,000 from Congress. The licensing process requires certifying that the applicant was working “an average of at least 40 hours per week” as a real estate agent at the time. Brokers typically supervise real estate agents and handle large amounts of money.
Two sources said that in recent weeks, Imran has discussed providing third parties with money and having them travel to New York City to buy and return with a 1-kilogram gold bar. “He wants to hide his money,” one source said in relation to the gold.
Those alleged requests occurred just weeks before Awan’s next scheduled court date, on June 7.
At least 14 limited liability companies have previously been registered to immediate family members or to the addresses of the Awan family’s residences. Those included companies such as New Dawn 2001, registered to Imran’s elderly mother-in-law. It is unclear what the “New Dawn” in 2001 was; the company was created in 2011.
Gowen, Imran’s attorney, said he had “no idea” what the companies did.
The companies also include multiple purported car dealerships, for which no physical presence could be located, that were registered to Imran brother Abid Awan’s Ukranian wife, Nataliia Sova, who was also on the House payroll. Another car dealership that did have a physical presence, registered to Abid, took $100,000 from an Iraqi government official, Abid’s business partner Nasir Khattak testified in a civil suit.
On mandatory House ethics disclosures, the Awans — who were subject to restrictions on outside income — did not report any outside companies. LLCs associated with members of the Awan family or their addresses include:
|New Dawn 2001||Hina Alvi; Imran Awan; Suraiya Begum||9667 Hawkshead Dr||07/29/11|
|Westmind Enterprise LLC||Abid Awan||6924 Little River Tpke Ste C||11/02/10|
|Acg LLC||Suraiya Begum||9667 Hawkshead Dr||06/28/11|
|Discover EZ Car Buying Co||Nataliia Sova||7110 Falcon St||07/22/14|
|Regional Car Center Inc.||Nataliia Sova||7110 Falcon St||03/23/15|
|Alain LLC||Nataliia Sova||7110 Falcon St||04/28/09|
|Cars International A LLC||Abid Awan||7110 Falcon St||10/07/09|
|Cars International LLC||Abid Arfan Awan||624 S Washington Street||01/28/08|
|Awantech LLC||lmran Awan||6314 Thomas Dr||09/27/06|
|lntl Sufi Educational Org||Muhammad Awan||6314 Thomas Dr||04/29/10|
|Winfield Builder Corp||Muhammad Ashraf Shah; Sampson T Winfield||6314 Thomas Dr||04/14/14|
|Express Services Corp||Sampson Winfield||6314 Thomas Dr||01/27/12|
|A Winfield & Associates Corp||Sampson T Winfield||6314 Thomas Dr||03/27/14|
|Winfield Real Estate Corp||Sampson T Winfield||6314 Thomas Dr||03/27/14|
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