Former White House strategist and Donald Trump aide, Steve Bannon, has been arrested. Authorities charged him with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors through the “We Build the Wall” campaign.
On Thursday, investigators at the U.S. Southern District of New York arrested Bannon, CNBC reports. According to the press release, the conservative group defrauded donors that led to raising “more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.”
In addition to Bannon, authorities arrested three others. The Bannon associates arrested include Timothy Shea, Brian Kolfage, and Andrew Badolato. In May, Shea took on the job as Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The “We Build the Wall” campaign promised to raise money to help President Donald Trump construct the southern border wall. However, prosecutors allege that Bannon and his associates pocketed money off the campaign.
The prosecutors claim the defendants “collectively received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds from ‘We Build the Wall.'” Furthermore, the indictment states they used the funds “in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations.”
Steve Bannon Arrested, Acting U.S. Attorney Weighs In
Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss released a statement regarding the case. “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,” Strauss said.
In conclusion, Strauss states: “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.”