Steve Bannon is indicted for defrauding donors of hundreds of thousands of dollars collected for We Build the Wall Inc. On Aug. 20, 2020, the New York federal prosecutors office indicted the quartet.
The build-the-wall project was billed as a volunteer organization, that ultimately raised over $25 million. Donors were promised that 100 percent of the funds raised would be used to execute their mission and purpose according to court records.
Sixty-six-year old Bannon conspired to defraud donors along with 38-year-old Kolfage from Miramar Beach, Fla., and two other men: 56-year-old financier from Sarasota, Fla. Andrew Badolato, and 49-year-old Timothy Shea from Castle Rock, Colo.
They are formally charged with fraudulently diverting donations for their personal use. Bannon funneled more than $1 million through a non-profit to pay Brian Kolfage and to cover personal expenses. Money was also routed through “a shell company that Shea controlled.”
Indictment records report a confidential agreement between Bannon, Kolfage, and Badolato in which Kolfage would receive $100 thousand upfront with 20,000 each month. The indictment reveals Kolfage personally used more than $350 thousand.
The four men are charged with one count each — conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to CNN.
To maintain their cover, they launched wall projects in New Mexico and Texas. The structures were built on private land which for the most part shielded the group’s activities from authorities.
Shortly after the announcement of Bannon’s arrest, Donald Trump claims he thought the project was showboating. ‘I didn’t like the project. I don’t know the others involved. It’s really too bad for Steve.”
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: Steve Bannon, three others charged with fraud in border wall fundraising campaign; Veronica, Geneva Sands, and Evan Perez
The New York Times: Steve Bannon Is Charged With Fraud in ‘We Build the Wall’ Campaign; Alan Feuer
MSNBC: Trump Distances Himself From Steve Bannon, Calls Arrest ‘A Very Sad Thing [Video]
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Inset Image Courtesy of Mike Licht’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License