The Former adviser of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon along with three others are arrested for defrauding hundreds of thousands of dollars from the donors as part of a fundraising campaign for Trump’s border wall. According to Law Enforcement Officers, Bannon was arrested near 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in Connecticut where he was on a Yacht of Exiled Chinese Guo Wengui.
In his initial court appearance in New York, Bannon was pleaded not guilty and was released on a bail amounting to $5 million bonds to be secured by $1.75 million in cash or real property but with conditions that he is not allowed to travel private airplanes, yachts or boats without permission from the court. Bannon was wearing a white mask and a buttoned shirt. Before leaving the court he removed his mask and waved to his supporters and said that “This entire fiasco is to stop people who want to build the wall”.
These four people were charged for using thousands of dollars which was donated to an online crowdfunding campaign called We Build the Wall. Along with Bannon, another defendant, Brian Kolfage, promised donors this collected amount in a “volunteer organisation” will be used in the for our mission and purpose, which is amounting to $25 Million. According to the charges on Bannon, he illegally used the amount of $ 1 Million to pay Kolfage secretly and cover a hundred thousand dollars under Bannon’s personal expenses. He used more than $350,000 of the donation on the luxury SUV, a golf cart, home renovations, jewellery, personal tax payments, and credit card debt, cosmetic surgery, and many other expenses.
The other two defendants are Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea who are charged for the one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to commit money laundering who didn’t respond to the comment immediately. According to the indictment executed by them on donors to the, We Build the Wall group. That within days of launching the group, Kolfage, along with Bannon and Badolato, made a “secret agreement” where it is stated that Kolfage would be paying “$100k upfront and the $20K per month”. To hide the transfer to Kolfage, Bannon decided to make the payment through the non-profit organisation controlled by Bannon.