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Steve Bannon Is Arrested for Nonprofit Fraud after Using an Octopus of Nonprofits to Help Elect Trump

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Steve Bannon

Stephen K. (Steve) Bannon

One of the key right-wing architects of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Stephen K. (Steve) Bannon, was arrested early yesterday morning while cruising in the Long Island Sound on a 150-foot yacht owned by the fugitive Chinese billionaire, Guo Wengui, according to law enforcement officials. Bannon had served as CEO of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and as senior counselor and chief strategist to the president for the first seven months of his term.

Bannon, along with three others, were charged with defrauding donors in a $25 million fundraising scheme called “We Build the Wall.” The plan was originally described as money to support President Trump’s efforts to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico but was later changed to a privately-funded project to build a wall.

Some of the money did actually build a segment of wall. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, however, were diverted to Bannon and others, despite repeated written promises to donors that they were “volunteers” and would receive no compensation, according to federal prosecutors.

The three others charged in the matter were Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea. The prosecutors have text messages between the defendants showing how they plotted to skim off the money. Read the Justice Department’s indictment here.

Bannon pleaded not guilty yesterday and was released on a $5 million bond that restricted his travel.

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