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Steve Bannon indicted for fraud over campaign to build private border wall

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Washington — Federal prosecutors in New York announced Thursday that Steve Bannon, President Trump’s former White House chief strategist, has been indicted along with three others for their roles in defrauding donors related to a $25 million fundraising campaign to build a wall along the southern border.

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss said Bannon, Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea were arrested Thursday morning. Bannon, 66, is set to appear before a federal judge in Manhattan.

The four men are accused of defrauding hundreds of thousands of people who donated to the “We Build the Wall” fundraising campaign that raked in more than $25 million to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the indictment. Federal prosecutors said that while donors were assured 100% of the money raised would be used to build the wall, those claims were false.

Instead, the Justice Department said the men profited from the fundraising scheme. Bannon allegedly received more than $1 million from “We Build the Wall,” which was funneled through a non-profit he controlled and some of which was used to cover his personal expenses.

To hide the payments from the fundraising campaign, federal prosecutors said the four men routed money through the nonprofit and a shell company controlled by Shea.

Each of the four are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, federal prosecutors said. Each carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.



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