Steve Bannon, the previous chief strategist of President Donald Trump, has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud over a fundraising campaign to create a wall on the US-Mexico border.
The US Department of Justice said Bannon, who was President Donald Trump’s former campaign CEO and later his chief strategist within the White House, was arrested on Thursday morning, August 20, in Washington, D.C. on charges he et al. allegedly made false representations about the “We Build the Wall campaign.”
Federal prosecutors alleged that Bannon, together with three others, “orchestrated a scheme to defraud many thousands of donors” in reference to the web crowdfunding campaign, which raised over $25m.
According to the indictment, Bannon took a minimum of $1 million from the ‘We Build The Wall’ campaign to secretly pay the group’s founder Brian Kolfage and canopy many thousands of dollars in personal expenses.
Bannon, Koflage, 38, Andrew Badolato, 56, and Timothy Shea, 49, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit hiding. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, the Justice said.
The indictment states that every one four defendants allegedly defrauded many thousands of donors in reference to the crowdfunding campaign, which raised quite $25 million.
“As alleged, the defendants defrauded many thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to lift uncountable dollars, under the infraction that every one of that money would be spent on construction,” acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a very announcement.
“While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, wouldn’t be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass many thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he wont to fund his lavish lifestyle.”
Bannon, 66, is anticipated to seem in judicature virtually later today.
He was appointed chief executive of Trump’s successful presidential campaign in 2016. After Trump’s inauguration, Bannon became his chief strategist but clashed with others within the White House and was dismissed in August 2017.