For some reason, major media refuse to tell the American people about this far reaching scandal.
A chief of staff for Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke quietly agreed in early 2016 to sign away a $120,000 missing electronics problem on behalf of two former IT aides now suspected of stealing equipment from Congress, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
Clarke’s chief of staff at the time effectively dismissed the loss and prevented it from coming up in future audits by signing a form removing the missing equipment from a House-wide tracking system after one of the Awan brothers alerted the office the equipment was gone. The Pakistani-born brothers are now at the center of an FBI investigation over their IT work with dozens of Congressional offices.
A senior House official with knowledge of the situation provided TheDCNF with new details about how exactly the brothers are suspected to have stolen the equipment and possibly data from Congress, raising questions about the members or staffers who were signing the checks on equipment purchases.
The $120,000 figure amounts to about a tenth of the office’s annual budget, or enough to hire four legislative assistants to handle the concerns of constituents in her New York district. Yet when one of the brothers alerted the office to the massive loss, the chief of staff signed a form that quietly reconciled the missing equipment in the office budget, the official told TheDCNF. Abid Awan remained employed by the office for months after the loss of the equipment was flagged.
Separately, the brothers are suspected to have orchestrated a long-running fraud scheme in which the office would purchase equipment in a way that avoided tracking by central House-wide administrators. They’re suspected of working with an employee of CDW Government Inc. — one of the Hill’s largest technology providers — to alter invoices in order to avoid tracking. The result would be that no one outside the office would notice if the equipment disappeared, and investigators think the goal of the scheme was to remove and sell the equipment outside of Congress.
According to the official who talked to TheDCNF, Clarke’s chief of staff did not alert authorities to the huge sum of missing money when it was brought to the attention of the office around February of 2016. A request to sign away that much lost equipment would have been “way outside any realm of normalcy,” the official said, but the office did not bring it to the attention of authorities until months later when House administrators told the office they were reviewing finances connected to the Awans.
The administrators informed the office that September they were independently looking into discrepancies surrounding the Awans, including a review of finances connected to the brothers in all the congressional offices that employed them. The House administrators asked Clarke’s then-chief of staff, Wendy Anderson, whether she had noticed any anomalies, and at that time she alerted them to the $120,000 write-off, the official told TheDCNF.
Anderson took over for Shelley Davis as Clarke’s chief of staff in February, the same month one of the Awan brothers requested the massive write-off for the lost equipment. It’s not clear whether it was Davis or Anderson who signed off on the form, but Anderson knew it occurred since she notified House authorities of the write-off when they asked.
LaDavia Drane replaced Anderson as Clarke’s chief of staff in January of 2017, when Anderson left to work for Florida Rep. Val Demings.
Salary records show Abid’s employment with Clarke ended in September, some six months after the discrepancy was acknowledged in the write-off and the same month Clarke’s office learned of the impending financial review. Since assuming office in 2007, the New York Democrat’s IT has been handled by, at various times, Imran, Hina, and most recently Abid.
Imran and his wife Hina were indicted this month for ancillary crimes relating to frantically gathering money to wire to Pakistan and attempting to leave the country, after learning that investigators were looking at the other behaviors. They began liquidating assets in earnest not long after that September call to their employers, real estate records show.
The current charges serve to keep Imran in the country by taking his passport, while the main case is built in earnest. Hina is already in Pakistan with some of the proceeds and could become a fugitive if she misses her arraignment.
The missing equipment tied to Clarke’s office included many iPhones and iPads, the official told TheDCNF. At $800 each, the written-off sum would be enough for 150 items in an office that, according to payroll records, only has 16 employees.
The equipment would have been billed under former chief of staff Davis, who led Clarke’s office from 2010 to February 11, 2016, at which point Anderson took over. The request for the write-off came from the Awans around the time of that staffing change. Drane and Clarke spokeswoman Christine L. Bennett refused to tell TheDCNF which chief signed the form, and why they did not fire Abid at the time or alert authorities.
More via former assistant U.S. attorney, The Very Strange Indictment of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s IT Scammers:
It leaves out a lot of highly pertinent information.
…here’s a peculiar thing about the Justice Department’s indictment of Imran Awan and Hina Alvi, the alleged fraudster couple who doubled as IT wizzes for Debbie Wasserman Schultz and many other congressional Democrats: There’s not a word in it about flight to Pakistan. The indictment undertakes to describe in detail four counts of bank-fraud conspiracy, false statements on credit applications, and unlawful monetary transactions, yet leaves out the most damning evidence of guilt.
In fact, the indictment appears to go out of its way not to mention it.
To summarize, the indictment is an exercise in omission. No mention of the Awan group’s theft of information from Congress. Not a hint about the astronomical sums the family was paid, much of it for no-show “work.” Not a word about Wasserman Schultz’s keeping Awan on the payroll for six months during which (a) he was known to be under investigation, (b) his wife was known to have fled to Pakistan, and (c) he was not credentialed to do the IT work for which he had been hired. Nothing about Wasserman Schultz’s energetic efforts to prevent investigators from examining Awan’s laptop. A likely currency-transportation offense against Alvi goes uncharged. And, as for the offenses that are charged, prosecutors plead them in a manner that avoids any reference to what should be their best evidence.
There is something very strange going on here.
It almost sounds as if the U.S. attorney’s office – led by a never-confirmed Obama holdover – where Wasserman Schultz’s brother has been an assistant U.S. attorney for years – is setting the stage for the Pakistani Muslim family members and the Democrats to walk away from this massive theft and misappropriation of taxpayer funds, and apparent theft of classified data, unpunished.
More food for thought: