NEW YORK CITY – On Thursday, former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon surrendered himself to the authorities in New York in order to face charges brought by the state in connection with the “We Build the Wall” fundraiser.
Bannon was charged with a total of six offenses, the most serious of which were money laundering in the second-degree, first-degree plan to defraud, and fourth- and fifth-degree conspiracy, respectively. The indictment alleges that Bannon used WeBuildTheWall, Inc. to draw contributions from a crowdfunding website. These contributions were then funneled through “various third party entities,” with a portion of the money going to the CEO of WeBuildTheWall despite the fact that both the organization and the CEO made repeated statements that he would not be compensated for his work.
The indictment identifies the chief executive officer as “Unindicted Co-Conspirator 1,” but it does not name any other individuals. WeBuildTheWall founder Brian Kolfage was named as a co-defendant in a federal indictment that was filed in the year 2020. The indictment alleged that Kolfage and Bannon had told the general public that Kolfage would “not take a penny” in compensation from the organization, but that he had in fact received compensation through a third-party entity. Within the context of the federal case, Kolfage entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to conduct wire fraud.
According to a person familiar with the investigation who spoke to Fox News, Bannon was likely to be freed from custody on “no cash bond and forfeit his passport.” A week ago, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg phoned one of his lawyers to alert him of the charge. At that time, he was unaware of the accusation.