Five Pakistani-American information technologists have quietly been awarded $850,000, the largest ever award by US Congress, to settle discrimination and wrongful termination claims, according to the New York Times. Awan's accusers included President Donald Trump and the right-wing US media. Recipients include Imran Awan; his wife, Hina Alvi; his brothers Abid and Jamal Awan; and friend Rao Abbas. They were accused in February 2017 of violating House security rules and later fired, and Awan eventually pleaded guilty to a relatively minor, unrelated offense of making a false statement on a bank loan application. "What started as a relatively ordinary House inquiry into procurement irregularities by Imran Awan, three members of his family and a friend, who had a bustling practice providing members of Congress with technology support, was twisted into lurid accusations of hacking government information", reports the New York Times.
Who is Imran Awan?
Imran Awan was born in in Pakistan in 1980. He received his permanent resident status after his family won the green card lottery. After emigrating to the U.S. in 1997, Awan worked at a fast-food restaurant while attending community college, then transferred to Johns Hopkins University where he earned a degree a bachelor's degree in computer science.
He became a US citizen in 2004 and lived in suburban northern Virginia near Washington, D.C. His first job was as an information technology specialist for then-Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla, that earned him $165,000-a-year salary.
In April 2018, President Donald Trump demanded that Imran Awan be investigated for espionage in several posts on Twitter. He referred to Awan as the "Pakistani mystery man", and tweeted in June 2018 that "Our Justice Department must not let Awan & Debbie Wasserman Schultz off the hook."
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