Ex-White House adviser Steve Bannon arrested over border wall fundraising scheme

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Former White House adviser Steve Bannon has been arrested on charges that he and three others ripped off donors to an online fundraising scheme called We Build The Wall.

The charges were contained in an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Bannon and three others “orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors” in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $25m (£19m) to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.

A spokesperson for Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon led Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in its critical final months (Al Drago/AP)

According to the indictment, Bannon promised that 100% of the donated money would be used for the project, but the defendants collectively used hundreds of thousands of dollars in a manner inconsistent with the organisation’s public representations.

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The indictment said they faked invoices and sham “vendor” arrangements, among other ways, to hide what was really happening.

Before he was chosen to lead Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in its critical final months, Bannon led Breitbart News.

After Trump was elected, he moved on to a top White House strategy post. That position ended in August 2017.

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