Former campaign manager and advisor to Donald Trump and ex and Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon was among a number of people arrested and indicted Thursday (Aug. 20) on charges they defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors to “We Build the Wall,” a campaign to help build a wall on the southern border.
According to its Web site, the We Build the Wall campaign has raised $25 million from donors to date. Bannon is listed as chairman of the campaign’s advisory board.
The charges were brought by the Department of Justice, specifically the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bannon is expected to appear before U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in the Southern District of New York Thursday.
“The defendants allegedly engaged in fraud when they misrepresented the true use of donated funds,” said Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett. “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, Bannon, “through a non-profit organization under his control received over $1 million from We Build the Wall, at least some of which [he] used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses.”
The case is being handled by Justice’s Public Corruption Unit, with assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicolas Roos, Alison G. Moe, and Robert B. Sobelman heading up the prosecution.