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Former White House adviser Steve Bannon was arrested Thursday on charges that he and three others committed fraud as part of an online fundraising campaign to build US President Donald Trump's Mexican border wall.

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Federal prosecutors in Manhattan announced that Bannon had been charged in an unsealed indictment for allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors through a $25 million crowdfunding campaign called, “We Build the Wall.”

The donors thought the money would go towards helping to build a border wall along the frontier with Mexico, prosecutors said.

Co-defendants Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea were also charged.

According to the indictment, Bannon promised that 100 percent of the donated money would be used for the project. But the three men are accused of collectively using hundreds of thousands of dollars in a manner inconsistent with the organisation's public claims. Kolfage, whom prosecutors described as the public face and founder of the operation, allegedly received thousands of dollars that he used to fund a lavish lifestyle.

The indictment said they faked invoices and used sham “vendor" arrangements, among other methods, to hide what was really happening with the money.

Before Bannon was tapped to lead Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Bannon led the conservative website Breitbart News. After Trump was elected, he moved on to a top White House adviser post.

The blunt-spoken, combative Bannon became the voice of an inflammatory nRead More – Source