A former technology worker for the House of Representatives accused of data theft by conservative news outlets pleaded guilty on Tuesday to an unrelated charge of making false statements on a loan application.
The worker, Imran Awan, 38, was arrested last summer as he tried to board a flight to Pakistan. He had been at the center of a swirl of allegations that he and several associates had conspired to steal hardware, data and perhaps even Democratic National Committee emails published by WikiLeaks.
President Trump had tried to heighten the intrigue, posting tweets claiming a media cover-up of a “Democrat I.T. scandal” and referring to Mr. Awan as a “Pakistani mystery man.”
Our Justice Department must not let Awan & Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the hook. The Democrat I.T. scandal is a key to much of the corruption we see today. They want to make a “plea deal” to hide what is on their Server. Where is Server? Really bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2018
Mr. Awan, who is Pakistani-American, had worked for more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers since 2004, including Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She defended him after the Capitol Police started looking into allegations by unnamed House lawmakers that Mr. Awan had executed some sort of fraud.
In the plea agreement, federal prosecutors debunked conspiracy theories about the case that had circulated online. They said that the government had interviewed about 40 witnesses, examined the House Democratic Caucus server and other data and devices, reviewed electronic communications and interviewed Mr. Awan on numerous occasions. They found no evidence that Mr. Awan had engaged in illegal conduct involving House computer systems.
Mr. Awan’s lawyer, Christopher Gowen, said the accusations were the product of an anti-Muslim, right-wing smear job targeting Mr. Awan and his family. He faulted Mr. Trump’s Twitter posts on the case, arguing they violated his client’s right to due process.
Mr. Awan admitted to submitting an online application in December 2016 in the name of his wife, Hina Alvi, to the Congressional Federal Credit Union for a home equity line of credit on a property that she owned in Alexandria, Va.
In the application, he stated that it was his wife’s primary residence. But in fact, she was renting the property to tenants. In January 2017, the credit union approved a line of credit for $165,000.
Mr. Gowen said his client falsely listed the property as a primary residence in an effort to quickly transfer money to relatives in Pakistan to assist his father, who was gravely ill in Virginia.
“He knows what he did was wrong,” Mr. Gowen said. “He made a mistake.”
Mr. Awan’s sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 21. Under federal guidelines, he faces a likely range of zero to six months in prison. And as part of the agreement, the government will ask the court to dismiss all charges against Ms. Alvi when Mr. Awan is sentenced.
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