Arrested, put in handcuffs!
Steve Bannon Is Charged With Fraud in ‘We Build the Wall’ Campaign
By Alan Feuer and William K. Rashbaum
Aug. 20, 2020
Updated 10:47 a.m. ET
Mr. Bannon and three other 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,” Audrey Strauss, the acting United States attorney in Manhattan, said in statement Thursday.
Mr. Bannon was arrested early Thursday in Connecticut by U.S. postal inspectors and brought to Manhattan where he faced charges in a two-count indictment unsealed in federal district court. He was expected to appear before a U.S. magistrate judge in New York later in the day.
As the founder of “We Build the Wall,” Mr. Kolfage promised his donors that he would “not take a penny in salary or compensation” and that all of the money he raised would be used “in the execution of our mission and purpose,” prosecutors said.
But those promises were false, prosecutors said. Instead, they said, Mr. Kolfage secretly took more than $350,000 in donations for his own personal use. Mr. Bannon, through an unnamed nonprofit organization, received more than $1 million from “We Build the Wall,” prosecutors said, some of which he used pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses.
To conceal the illicit flow of money, prosecutors said, the four men routed payments from “We Build the Wall” not only through Mr. Bannon’s nonprofit group, but also through a shell company that Mr. Shea controlled.
Alan Feuer covers courts and criminal justice for the Metro desk. He has written about mobsters, jails, police misconduct, wrongful convictions, government corruption and El Chapo, the jailed chief of the Sinaloa drug cartel. He joined The Times in 1999. @alanfeuer
William K. Rashbaum is a senior writer on the Metro desk, where he covers political and municipal corruption, courts, terrorism and broader law enforcement topics. He was a part of the team awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. @WRashbaum • Facebook