One of former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s ex-aides has been indicted on four counts, including bank fraud and making false statements, Fox News has learned.
The grand jury decision in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia comes a month after Imran Awan, 37, was arrested by the FBI at Dulles International Airport in Virginia last month, as he attempted to fly to Qatar and then on to Pakistan.
His wife, Hina Alvi, who also worked for congressional Democrats, was indicted as well.
Authorities had been watching the couple for months as part of an investigation into information and equipment theft.
Alvi, and two other relatives, Jamal and Abid Awan, were fired as a result of the probe in March but Imran was kept on by Wasserman Schultz.
On July 24, he was arrested on suspicion of banking fraud for allegedly taking out a $165,000 loan with his wife on a house that they did not live in and sending the money back to Pakistan.
Imran Arwan (above with Bill Clinton) was arrested trying to board a flight to Qatar at Virginia’s Dulles Airport last month
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee didn’t announce Imran Arwan had been fired until his arrest
He had denied the charge and was granted bail on the condition that he surrender his passports and wear an electronic ankle bracelet until his next court date in August.
His lawyer told Politico the next day: ‘This is clearly a right-wing media-driven prosecution by a United States Attorney’s Office that wants to prosecute people for working while Muslim.
‘A quick glance at what the government filed in court today confirms the lack of evidence or proof they have against my client.’
Arwan’s arrest is the culmination of months of investigation by the FBI and local law enforcement agencies. As a result of it, several of the man’s relatives were fired.
Arwan has worked on Capitol Hill for more than a decade and has served as a staffer to numerous Democrats.
Authorities launched an investigation earlier this year on the suspicion that he and his family were involved in the procurement of theft.
In March, Arwan’s wife was fired from her job working for Rep. Gregory Meeks. She fled the country shortly afterwards with the couple’s two daughters, a haul of luggage and $12,000 in cash but was never arrested.
Authorities say they do not believe she intended to return to the US.
Her husband had a return flight booked for January next year.
Arwan was fired from Rep. Marcia Fudge’s staff but he was kept on by Wasserman Schultz despite having his access to the House network denied.
She initially said nothing of the investigation into him and instead protested that a laptop, which was seized as part of the probe, had not been returned to her promptly.
Arwan was a staffer for former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In May, she was filmed telling US Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa (above) to ‘expect consequences’ if he did not promptly return a laptop that was part of the investigation
In May, she was filmed scolding the chief of the US Capitol Police at a budget meeting, telling him to ‘expect consequences’ if the computer wasn’t swiftly returned.
A day after his arrest, Wasserman Schultz announced that Awan had been fired after the arrest was made public.
‘Mr. Awan previously served as a part-time employee but his services have been terminated.
‘No charges, evidence or findings from the investigation have been formally shared with our office, so we cannot comment on them,’ a spokesman for her said.
Wasserman Schultz later said she kept Awan on the payroll because she had ‘grave concerns’ he was being subjected to ‘ethnic profiling.’
‘I had grave concerns about his due process rights being violated,’ she told the Florida Sun Sentinel earlier this month.
‘When their investigation was reviewed with me, I was presented with no evidence of anything that they were being investigated for,’ she continued. ‘And so that, in me, gave me great concern that his due process rights were being violated – that there were racial and ethnic profiling concerns that I had.’
‘I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again,’ Wasserman Schultz added. ‘There are times when you can’t be afraid to stand alone, and you have to stand up for what’s right.’
‘It would have been easier for me to just fire him,’ she concluded.
Five staffers were being looked into in total.
They included Abid and Jamal Arwan who are believed to be Imran’s brothers.
Awan, 37, was arrested trying to board a flight at Virginia’s Dulles Airport (pictured). He was on his way to Qatar and then Pakistan
In April, Imran and Abid’s stepmother filed a lawsuit against them claiming they had threatening her to try to force her to signing over power of attorney for assets in Pakistan.
According to The New York Post, which obtained her lawsuit, she said they had tapped her phones and threatened to kidnap relatives in Pakistan so that she would sign their father’s $50,000 life insurance policy over to them.
Wasserman Schultz stepped down as DNC chair last year after the Committee’s email systems were hacked
Mohammad Ashref Shah, their father and her husband, died in January.
Wasserman Schultz was the chair of the Democratic National Committee when its computer systems were hacked in the summer of 2016.
The cyber attack has been traced back to Russian officials and was categorized by the Obama administration as an attempt to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump.
The security breach led to the harvesting of thousands of emails written by Clinton’s campaign team.
They were sent to WikiLeaks and dumped in mass and by drip-feed in to the public sphere before the 2016 presidential election. The hack prompted Wasserman Schultz’s resignation.
There is no suggestion Arwan’s arrest or the investigation in to the alleged fraud is linked to the hack.
President Trump, however, felt the story was being downplayed because it involved a prominent Democrat.
Late last month, Trump retweeted a TownHall.com piece that said the big three networks, ABC, NBC and CBS had avoided the story almost entirely.
‘Concerning media coverage, Politico has reported something on it, but the big three – ABC, NBC, and CBS – have virtually buried this story, preventing the millions of viewers that tune into these respective networks from learning about it,’ wrote Town Hall’s Matt Vespa.