Debbie Wasserman Schultz's aide arrested after being accused of bank fraud

A former aide to the former DNC chair was arrested trying to flee the country

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published July 27, 2017 2:45PM (EDT)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz   (AP/Richard Drew)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (AP/Richard Drew)

An information technology staffer who used to work for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, has reportedly been arrested for bank fraud.

Imran Awan was apprehended by law enforcement officers from the FBI and Capitol Hill Police while trying to board a plane to Pakistan, according to a report by NBC News. He is accused of defrauding the Congressional Federal Credit Union of $165,000. As far back as February of this year, Awan had apparently been fired by all but one of the congressional Democrats for whom he was working, following accusations that he had stolen computers and data systems.

The one exception was Wasserman Schultz.

Indeed, Wasserman Schultz did not dismiss Awan after being informed that he was under investigation, although he had been prohibited from accessing the House of Representatives' computer systems.

"After details of the investigation were reviewed with us, my office was provided no evidence to indicate that laws had been broken, which over time, raised troubling concerns about due process, fair treatment and potential ethnic and religious profiling," Wasserman Schultz told Salon through her communications director, David Damron. After the congresswoman's office learned of Awan's arrest, Damron said, he was terminated.

This scandal has broken almost exactly one year after Wasserman Schultz was pressured into resigning from her position as chair of the Democratic National Committee. She was under considerable criticism after DNC emails — presumably hacked by Russian operatives, and then published by WikiLeaks — led to the perception that she had worked to give Hillary Clinton an unfair advantage over Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary campaign.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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