Ex-Trump strategist arrested in border wall fundraising scheme

Steve Bannon, once President Donald Trump's top political strategist on his campaign and at the White House, was arrested along with three other men on Thursday and charged with skimming money from an online effort to raise more than $25 million to build part of a wall along the southern border with Mexico.


Federal prosecutors said Thursday that Bannon and others 'collectively received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds from We Build the Wall,' even though they had promised not to take any funds.

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"Those representations were false," the indictment states, pointedly quoting Bannon as saying, "we're a volunteer organization."


Charging documents say Bannon laundered over $1 million through a non-profit organization he runs, partly ‘to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in BANNON’s personal expenses.’

Bannon was reportedly taken into custody by U.S. Postal investigators.


Also arrested and charged were Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea.


All four of the men are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.


Those charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.