Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, 3 others arrested, charged with defrauding donors to border wall fundraiser

by Laura Mize · Aug 20th, 2020 11:55 am

Last Updated Oct 14th, 2020 at 3:03 pm

Steve Bannon, one-time leader of President Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, was arrested Thursday, along with three other people, and indicted on charges he defrauded donors to an effort billed as a fundraiser for Trump's border wall.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the arrests Thursday. Disabled Iraq war veteran Brian Kolfage, who started the We Build the Wall campaign on GoFundMe in 2018; Timothy Shea, who recently became the Acting Administrator of Drug Enforcement Administration; and a man named Andrew Badolato are the other people charged in the scheme.

The statement from the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York alleges that We Build the Wall raised $25 million from hundreds of thousands of donors "under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction."

Instead, Kolfage used large amounts of the donated funds personally. The other three men, the DOJ reports, helped funnel the money to him.

"As alleged, not only did they lie to donors, they schemed to hide their misappropriation of funds by creating sham invoices and accounts to launder donations and cover up their crimes showing no regard for the law or the truth," the statement reads "This case should serve as a warning to other fraudsters that no one is above the law, not even a disabled war veteran or a millionaire political strategist."


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