House IT aides suspected of laundering money to support terrorism

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In addition to being suspected of stealing hardware from ranking House Democrats and sending intelligence information to foreign groups, Pakistani Imran Awan, the former IT staffer of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.-Fla.), is now alleged to have operated a car dealership that served as an overseas money-laundering operation.

A new report reveals that the car dealership run by Awan, called CIA, or Cars International A, featured fake staff on its Facebook page with names such as “James Falls O’Brien,” whose photo was taken from a hairstyle catalog, and “Jade Julia,” whose image was lifted from a webpage called “Beautiful Girls Wallpaper.”

Nasir Khattak, who ran the AAA dealership across the street from Cars International A, testified in a lawsuit, “If a customer showed up looking to buy a car from Cars International A, often referred to as CIA, Abid Awan — who was managing partner of the dealership while also earning $160,000 handling IT for House Democrats — would frequently simply go across the street to longstanding dealership called AAA Motors and get one.”

A separate report revealed that while Imran and his brother Abid Awan ran their Falls Church, Va., car dealership during the early part of the decade, Drug Enforcement Agency officials discovered that the Iranian-linked terrorist group, Hezbollah, frequently utilized used-car dealerships in the United States to launder money and fund terrorism.

According to court records, in 2010, the CIA dealership took a $100,000 loan from Dr. Ali Al-Attar, who is of Iranian heritage and was a minister in the Iraqi government. Currently, Al-Attar is a fugitive who is wanted by the government of the United States.

Shortly after Al-Attar made the loan to the dealership, Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, wrote that Attar “was observed in Beirut, Lebanon, conversing with a Hezbollah official.”

Wayne Black, a former law enforcement group supervisor–under Janet Reno’s public corruption department in Miami, Fla.–thinks it is likely the Awans were laundering money.

“Based on the modest way Awan was living, it is my opinion that he was sending most of his money to a group or criminal organization that could very well be connected with the Pakistani government,” Black said.

“My instincts tell me Awan was probably operating a foreign intelligence-gathering operation on U.S. soil,” Black added.

After publishing his report, Luke Rosiak, of The Daily Caller, tweeted, “Need to take $100k in Hezbollah-linked cash while you can read intelligence committee members’ emails, as their IT guy? Set up a used car dealership with fake staff, launder it from Iraq thru realtors’ commissions, and lie about it on House disclosures.”

Wasserman Schultz employed the Pakistani IT staffers and brothers, who were paid over $4 million dollars during their tenure despite being accused of a cyber-security breach.

Imran Awan was arrested in July as he attempted to flee the United States after wiring approximately $300,000 to Pakistan.

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