Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Steve Bannon speaks before introducing Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore during a campaign event at Oak Hollow Farm on December 5, 2017 in Fairhope, Alabama.

Steve Bannon speaks before introducing Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore during a campaign event at Oak Hollow Farm on December 5, 2017 in Fairhope, Alabama. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Steve Bannon Arrested for Fraud Related to Role in Privatized Border Wall Scheme

The "We Build the Wall" campaign, led by Iraq War veteran Brian Kolfage, raised over $25 million.

Andrea Germanos

This is a breaking story and may be updated.

Former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was arrested and charged Thursday for his alleged role in "defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors" related to the anti-immigrant "We Build the Wall" campaign.

The indictment was unsealed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Three other individuals were also arrested for their roles in the privatized border wall scheme that raised over $25 million, the federal prosecutors said, naming campaign leader Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shaw. 

"As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction," Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement.

"While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle," Strauss added.

Further, the indictment states, "Bannon, through a non-profit organization under his control, received over $1 million from We Build the Wall, at least some of which Bannon used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in [his] personal expenses."

According to Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the United States Postal Inspection Service, "The defendants allegedly engaged in fraud when they misrepresented the true use of donated funds. 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," he added, "not even a disabled war veteran or a millionaire political strategist."

Bannon's involvement in the privatized border wall effort was first reported by Politico last year. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Tlaib Leads Call for Biden to Take 'Commonsense Steps' to Aid Afghan Evacuees

"Our country has long offered shelter to those seeking refuge from catastrophe. Now is the time to continue that tradition and stand beside Afghan evacuees in need."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Huge Win': Green Groups Applaud Biden Move to Protect Minnesota Watershed

"You don't allow America's most toxic industry next to America's most popular wilderness," said one environmental campaigner.

Brett Wilkins ·


Taking Aim at Predatory Equity Firms, Warren Leads Bill to 'Stop Wall Street Looting'

"Now is the time," asserted Sen. Bernie Sanders, "to end Wall Street's greed, protect workers, and create an economy that works for everyone, not just the 1%."

Brett Wilkins ·


Arizona Groups Demand Sinema 'Stop Obstructing' on Medicare Expansion

The diverse coalition called on the Democratic senator to back "bold drug pricing reform" and "critical improvements to Medicare's coverage" in the reconciliation package.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Should Be a No-Brainer': Biden Pushed to Back Long-Term Child Tax Credit Extension

"Putting money in the pockets of those who need it most is good for the children and families receiving it, good for local businesses, and helps protect this fragile economic recovery."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo