Steve Bannon charged with fraud in border wall campaign

Steve Bannon charged with fraud in border wall campaign

  • September 4, 2020
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An associate of the border wall crowdfunding group “We Build the Wall” told CNN Thursday federal agents “raided” his recreational vehicle in Mesquite, Nevada, hours before prosecutors unsealed charges accusing others involved in the group, including Steve Bannon, of defrauding donors. 

Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence — who are listed on the group’s website as part of the We Build the Wall team — were both served with warrants for their cellphones and subpoenas to appear before a grand jury, Stockton told CNN.

He and Lawrence have not been charged.

“In the predawn, heavily armed federal agents served Jennifer Lawrence and I with warrants for our cell phones and subpoenas to appear before a grand jury. We were in our RV in Mesquite Nevada. They took both of our cell phones and nothing else,” he said in a Twitter message.

Stockton said federal agents told him the warrants and subpoenas came from the Southern District of New York.

The raid occurred on the same day four of their former associates at We Build the Wall, including Bannon, were arrested and indicted by New York prosecutors for allegedly using hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to the online crowdfunding campaign for personal expenses, among other things.

Bannon and another defendant, Brian Kolfage, promised donors that the campaign — which ultimately raised more than $25 million — was “a volunteer organization” and that “100% of the funds raised…will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose,” according to the indictment unsealed Thursday. 

But instead, according to prosecutors, Bannon, through a non-profit under his control, used more than $1 million from We Build the Wall to “secretly” pay Kolfage and cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bannon’s personal expenses.

Stockton told CNN that he a Lawrence are “still deciding on {legal} counsel.” He said they “remain extremely proud that we were able to deliver a segment of wall for all the people who donated to WBTW with the project in Sunland Park.”

“We are skeptical of the timing of the allegations but cannot comment on any specifics at this time,” he added. 

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