Wasserman Schultz Aide Arrested at Airport

On a bank fraud charge; he was trying to fly to Pakistan
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 26, 2017 11:30 AM CDT
Wasserman Schultz Aide Accused of Bank Fraud
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 24, 2017.   (Jacquelyn Martin)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has fired an IT staffer following his arrest on a bank fraud charge at a Virginia airport where he was attempting to fly to Pakistan. A rep for Wasserman Schultz says Irman Awan was fired by the Florida Democrat on Tuesday, reports the AP. Awan's attorney, Chris Gowen, confirmed his client was arrested at Dulles Airport on Monday. The 37-year-old Awan of Lorton, Va., is accused of defrauding the Congressional Federal Credit Union to obtain a $165,000 home equity loan. Politico reports he allegedly transferred the funds to two people in Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Awan—who was cleared to travel and had informed the House of his plans to visit his family before the scheduled trip—was arraigned Tuesday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. He pleaded not guilty and was released pursuant to a high-intensity supervision program, including the restriction that he not travel beyond a 50-mile radius of his home, according to the court. Gowen says the case is motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry and he's confident Awan "will soon be able to clear his name and get on with his life." A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21, per Gowen. (Read more bank fraud stories.)

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