Steve Bannon was arrested on Thursday morning along with three associates. He has been indicted for frauding the donors. The multimillion-dollar fraud involves thousands of fundraisers who donated the funds believing that the fundraiser would help build the Wall on Mexico border.
For those who don’t know Bannon, he’s a former senior White House advisor to President Trump. Bannon and his three associates have been indicted in the money-laundering fraud, which involves laundering the funds that were donated to a campaign – We Build the Wall.
Bannon and Brian Kolfage, who is an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart Medal recipient, have been indicted in the scam. Kolfage was the one who started the online fundraising. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Services announced the case and arrests.
“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.”
– U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss official statement
Bannon’s other associates – Andrew Badolato(Sarasota, FL) and Timothy Sheah(Castle Rock, CO), have been indicted in the fraud, they assured the donors that the money raised through the campaign would not go into the hands of any volunteer. However, they frauded their donors and “the money raised was used secretly to fund the lavish lifestyle’’.
The Inspector-in-Charge, Philip Bartlett has revealed that the organizers were found fooling the donors by issuing fake invoices, records and accounts to hide the laundering of the funds. The campaign that was organized to build the border wall raised over $25 million.
Both Bannon and his associates have repeatedly assured the donors that they would not misuse the funds. Still, the investigators found out that they set up a non-profit organization to use over $1 million for personal spendings.
The fake organization was used to divert payments for their expenses, including $350,000 sent to Kolfage by using a series of fake invoices.
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