Steve Bannon Arrested And Charged With Fraud By Federal Prosecutors In New York

Steve Bannon Arrested And Charged With Fraud By Federal Prosecutors In New York by Tyler Durden for Zero Hedge

Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon has been arrested and indicted by the Manhattan US attorney for defrauding people in an online fundraising scheme.

The arrest is tied to the “We Build The Wall” online fundraising scheme which invited Americans to donate to a campaign to build the wall with private funds. Bannon was arrested alongside Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea, all four of whom were involved in the online fundraising project (we reported on the fundraiser back in 2018). Prosecutors allege that after promising not to use “one cent” of the money raised in the GoFundMe page and other fundraising venues to pay themselves, the men – particularly Kolfage, the public face of the endeavor – broke this promise. In particular, Kolfage used much of the money to finance a “lavish lifestyle,” according to prosecutors (more information can be found in the press release below).

According to the indictment, which was unsealed in Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday, Bannon and the three men willfully conned donors with their promise to build the wall with private money. Per the indictment, Bannon once described WBTW as a “volunteer organization”. Eventually “hundreds of thousands of dollars” were siphoned from the campaign, money supplied by donors, including some in the Southern District.

Feds say Bannon is in federal custody, and Fox News flashed video of the Bannon “perp walk” shortly after news of his arrest hit. According to the AP, a call to the office of Bannon’s lawyer wasn’t answered Thursday morning, while a spokeswoman for Bannon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Notably, this is a separate issue from the FBI investigation into a media venture involving Bannon, an exiled Chinese businessman, and the son of Morgan Stanley’s co-founder.

The arrest comes just hours before Joe Biden is set to accept the Democratic nomination. Bannon was indicted by Audrey Strauss, the successor (and former deputy head) to Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney in Manhattan who was messily pushed out by Bill Barr a few weeks ago.

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