Steve Bannon, a former chief strategist in President Donald Trump’s White House, has been indicted by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, New York.
Bannon and three others ― Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea ― were arrested Thursday 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,” prosecutors announced Thursday morning.
The four defendants 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.
Kolfage, the founder of “We Build the Wall,” had assured donors that all the money would go toward construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss said in a statement. But the defendants “secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle,” she said.
Bannon, 66, received over $1 million from the crowdfunding campaign, which he funneled through a nonprofit that he operates, according to prosecutors. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of that money reportedly went toward his personal expenses.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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