THOUSANDS of people who donated to Steve Bannon’s We Build The Wall fundraiser say they were defrauded, according to prosecutors.
Bannon, a former adviser to Donald Trump, was arrested along with three others in connection with allegations of fraud committed on behalf of individuals who donated.
When was Steve Bannon arrested?
On August 20, 2020, former Trump political adviser Steve Bannon was arrested.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office – Southern District of New York confirmed that Bannon was arrested Thursday morning for defrauding donors in the border wall scheme.
Police officials arrested him along with Brian Kolfag, Andred Badolato and Timothy Shea, who were also charged in connection with the fraud claims.
They each faced one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering — each of which carries a 20-year prison sentence.
What was Steve Bannon accused of?
Bannon and the four individuals listed above were indicted on charges of illegal transfer of funds.
The four were arrested on charges stemming from claims they ripped off donors for the We Build The Wall online fundraiser.
Bannon and three others “orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors,” federal prosecutors alleged.
“As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding the border wall to raise millions of dollars under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction,” Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said. in the statement.
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“While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly planned to hand Kolfage hundreds of thousands of dollars, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. “
On January 1, 2021, in one of his last acts as president, Trump pardoned Bannon before leaving the White House and acquitted him of the charges.
What is the “We Build The Wall” Fund?
The We Build The Wall is a fundraising campaign to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.
The crowdfunded effort raised more than $25 million.
“Our mission is to unite private citizens who share a common belief in providing national security for our southern border through the construction, management and maintenance of physical barriers to prevent illegal entry into the United States,” according to We Build The Wall’s official website. .
Court documents say the four men defrauded Trump supporters with an online crowdfunding campaign to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.
The indictment alleged that Bannon, Kolfage, Badolato and Shea used millions of dollars “in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations.”
It explains how Bannon allegedly pocketed $1 million from We Build the Wall and used it to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in his own expenses.
All four men allegedly created a shell company, Non-profit-1, to hide their personal payoffs.