Thirty-one Democrats in the House of Representatives paid at least $4 million since July 2009 to five members of a Pakistani family under criminal investigation for allegedly exploiting their positions as computer administrators.
According to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group (DCNF), many of the House Democrats who employed the suspects paid them despite the fact that they rarely, and in some cases never, saw them.
The suspects had unfettered access to the emails and office computer files of the members for whom they worked, including many who serve on intelligence, homeland security, and foreign affairs committees. The U.S. Capitol Police is targeting their investigation toward an off-site server on which congressional data was allegedly loaded unbeknownst to authorities.
Reasons to be suspicious of the Awans—including brothers Imran, Abid, and Jamal, and two of their wives, Hina Alvi and Natalia Sova—existed prior to their being suspected in a criminal theft and cybersecurity probe.
According to the DCNF’s analysis of payroll records, four of the suspects are among the 500 highest-paid House staffers. Despite the long hours and shaky job security, coveted positions on Capitol Hill are fiercely competed for and compensated at a median $43,000 annually (for legislative assistants).
Since 2010, Imran Awan has been paid $1.2 million, while his brother Abid and wife Hina Alvi were each paid in excess of $1 million.
A review of Legistorm.com, which tracks congressional staff data, reveals that the family has been paid $5 million collectively since 2003, with Imran making $2 million and Abid making $1.5 million. More than 25,000 people have been employed by the House since 2010, and only 100 have earned more than Imran.
The Awans were classified as “shared” employees, meaning that their salaries were amassed from part-time payments from multiple House members. It is estimated that, over time, the Awans have made appearances on 80 House Democrats’ payrolls.
On Feb. 2, the Capitol Police met with chiefs of staff for the members employing the Awans and informed them of the investigation. Following the meeting, the Awans were terminated by some of the House Democrats, but it is unclear how many have parted ways with the suspects.
Along with the Democratic Caucus, Democrat House members who employed the Awans are listed below:
- Marcia Fudge(D-OH)
- Tim Ryan (D-OH)
- Jim Costa (D-CA)
- Sander M. Levin (D-MI)
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
- Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY)
- Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)
- John P. Sarbanes (D-MD)
- Jackie Speier (D-CA)
- Diana Degette (D-CO)
- Frederica S. Wlison (D-FL)
- Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA)
- David Loebsack (D-IA)
- Karen Bass (D-CA)
- Joyce Beatty (D-OH)
- Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
- Lois Frankel (D-FL)
- Daniel T. Kildee (D-MI)
- Tony Cardenas (D-CA)
- Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
- Robin L. Kelly (D-IL)
- Katherine M. Clark (D-MA)
- Mark Takano (D-CA)
- Julia Brownley (D-CA)
- Pete Aguilar (D-CA)
- Andre Carson (D-IN)
- Joaquin Castro (D-TX)
- Theodore Deutch (D-FL)
- Ted Lieu (D-CA)
- Hakeem S. Jeffries (D-NY)
- Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
H/T: The Daily Caller
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