Breakthrough Web Design - 515-897-1144 - Web sites for businesses
News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Founded October 1, 2010


Steve Bannon and others arrested for defrauding fundraising campaign to build Donald Trump’s border wall, which Mexico was supposed to pay for



This news story was published on August 20, 2020.
Advertise on NIT Subscribe to NIT

Bannon, via Fox news, where he just appeared in interview days ago.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Steve Bannon and others have been arrested for defrauding a fundraising campaign to build Donald Trump’s border wall, which Mexico was supposed to pay for

Brian Kolfage, Stephen Bannon, and Two Others Alleged to Have Funneled Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars From the Organization to Kolfage; All Four Defendants Allegedly Profited From Their Roles in the Scheme

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.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, the 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. While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. We thank the USPIS for their partnership in investigating this case, and we remain dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud wherever we find it.”

Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett said: “The defendants allegedly engaged in fraud when they misrepresented the true use of donated funds. As alleged, not only did they lie to donors, they schemed to hide their misappropriation of funds by creating sham invoices and accounts to launder donations and cover up their crimes, showing no regard for the law or the truth. This case should serve as a warning to other fraudsters that no one is above the law, not even a disabled war veteran or a millionaire political strategist.”

According to the Indictment[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

Starting in approximately December 2018, BRIAN KOLFAGE, STEPHEN BANNON, ANDREW BADOLATO, and TIMOTHY SHEA, and others, orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors, including donors in the Southern District of New York, in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign ultimately known as “We Build The Wall” that raised more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. 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.”

Those representations were false. In truth, KOLFAGE, BANNON, BADOLATO, and SHEA received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds from We Build the Wall, which they each used in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations. In particular, KOLFAGE covertly took for his personal use more than $350,000 in funds that donors had given to We Build the Wall, while BANNON, through a non-profit organization under his control (“Non-Profit-1”), received over $1 million from We Build the Wall, at least some of which BANNON used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in BANNON’s personal expenses. To conceal the payments to KOLFAGE from We Build the Wall, KOLFAGE, BANNON, BADOLATO, and SHEA devised a scheme to route those payments from We Build the Wall to KOLFAGE indirectly through Non-Profit-1 and a shell company under SHEA’s control, among other avenues. They did so by using fake invoices and sham “vendor” arrangements, among other ways, to ensure, as KOLFAGE noted in a text message to BADOLATO, that his pay arrangement remained “confidential” and kept on a “need to know” basis.

* * *

KOLFAGE, 38, of Miramar Beach, Florida, BANNON, 66, of Washington, D.C., BADOLATO, 56, of Sarasota, Florida, and SHEA, 49, of Castle Rock, Colorado, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the USPIS and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. She also thanked the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida for their assistance.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Nicolas Roos, Alison G. Moe, and Robert B. Sobelman are in charge of the prosecution.

Need help with your website?
Call your local professional,
Breakthrough Web Design:
515-897-1144
or go to
BreakthoughWebDesign.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 characters available

8 Responses to Steve Bannon and others arrested for defrauding fundraising campaign to build Donald Trump’s border wall, which Mexico was supposed to pay for

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 20, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Another one of Dirty Don’s Possy goes down! Just Incredible!!!

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      August 20, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      Dude, Bannon had an office next to tRump’s in the WH. Get a freaking grip! Bannon was, is, and always will be a tRump man. Now you can spin all kinds of BS about Democrats but honey you ain’t got squat. No charges on Obama or Hillary, no indictments, no guilty verdicts UNLIKE PEOPLE FROM tRump’s OWN CLOSE ORBIT. Face it, the man has criminals all around him and he calls them “the best people”.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      August 20, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Trump always bragged he had the best people. Most are as corrupt and crooked as he is, yup they are his people.

    • HOLN1 Reply Report comment

      August 21, 2020 at 7:59 am

      oh yeah , well…..well….ok , What political party was involved in Watergate , aha , gotcha on that one !!!!

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      August 21, 2020 at 9:28 am

      Apparently not as smart as the clintons

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      August 21, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      Apparently you haven’t seen Dirty Donny and the number of pics with Epstein and Maxwell. Oh, wait, you probably have and it doesn’t matter because it is Donny.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      August 22, 2020 at 3:25 am

      Just like Jeff Epstein from the Bill Clinton Clan.
      Maybe Bernie Madoff from the Hillary Clinton Clan AND the Barry Obama Bunch.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 20, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Headline should be: Grifters Grift Millions of Dollars Of Donations From The Easily Scammed.

    I guess it proves that there are many suckers born every minute. If there is true justice the people who were scammed will get their money back.