Trump’s former Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, was arrested in New York earlier today.
Bannon, who is the former CEO of right wing news outlet, Breitbart News, was arrested alongside three others – Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea.
The four were arrested for their roles in ‘defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign known as ‘We Build the Wall’ that raised more than $25 million’.
Federal prosecutors allege what would be a truly iconic story. Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall. When Mexico didn't, Bannon asked Trump supporters to pay, and allegedly took their money for himself. https://t.co/2MPORKnfvU— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) August 20, 2020
All four of those arrested are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison so this could be pretty serious.
Kolfage, who founded the ‘We Build A Wall’ fundraiser assured donors that all the money would go toward construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Is Mexico going to pay Steve Bannon’s bail?— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) August 20, 2020
However instead, they ‘secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle’.
Bannon alone received over $1 million from the crowdfunding campaign – and hundreds of thousands of which went towards his expenses.