Just in from the Justice Department:
Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the United States Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), announced the unsealing of an indictment charging BRIAN KOLFAGE, STEPHEN BANNON, ANDREW BADOLATO, and TIMOTHY SHEA 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.
The defendants were arrested this morning. KOLFAGE will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hope T. Cannon in the Northern District of Florida. BANNON will be presented today in the Southern District of New York. BADOLATO will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Wilson in the Middle District of Florida. SHEA will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix in the District of Colorado. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in the Southern District of New York.
In particular, to induce donors to donate to the campaign, KOLFAGE repeatedly and falsely assured the public that he would “not take a penny in salary or compensation” and that “100% of the funds raised . . . will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose” because, as BANNON publicly stated, “we’re a volunteer organization.”
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) August 20, 2020
BREAKING: Steve Bannon criminally charged for his role 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. https://t.co/ouOTYhtbR1
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) August 20, 2020
“Former Trump campaign manager and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was indicted in New York on fraud charges related to a fundraising campaign to build a border wall, federal prosecutors said.”
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) August 20, 2020