Leaders Of ‘We Build The Wall’ Online Fundraising Campaign Charged With Defrauding Hundreds Of Thousands Of Donors
Postal Inspectors along with Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York investigated BRIAN KOLFAGE, STEPHEN BANNON, ANDREW BADOLATO, and TIMOTHY SHEA for their alleged roles in defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign known as “We Build the Wall” that raised more than $25 million. The four defendants were arrested this morning.
Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale said, “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to identifying and investigating anyone who exploits others for their own benefits. We are proud to work alongside the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and I thank them for their partnership in keeping our communities and our vulnerable populations safe from financial exploitation.”
New York Division Inspector in Charge Philip Bartlett said, “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, not even a disabled war veteran or a millionaire political strategist.”
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is a trusted law enforcement authority on fraud investigations. An important part of our mission is to protect the American public from fraud and other financial crimes.