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Ex Trump Adviser Steve Bannon Held For Fraud

 


Bannon and three others have been charged with defrauding people who donated to the viral "We Build the Wall" campaign on GoFundMe. 

Bannon was arrested Thursday morning along with Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea, according to a statement from the US Attorney's office in the Southern District of New York.

“As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction. 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 schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. We thank the USPIS for their partnership in investigating this case, and we remain dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud wherever we find it.” Audrey Strauss, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, said in a statement.

Steve Bannon received over $1m from the scheme through a non-profit organization he controls, and used it "to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars" in personal expenses, the indictment alleges. Kolfage "covertly took for his personal use more than $350,000 in funds". 

Each of the four charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

 Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett, said in a statement, "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. 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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