Defrauded Donors Lose Over $25 Million

Defrauded Donors Lose Over $25 Million

( – Americans have the privilege of donating to causes they believe in; this allows us to support organizations and people we trust to bring change into the world. Unfortunately, some organizations do not use the funds as planned or promised.

Four men, including former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, face charges for defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors while raising funds for a “We Build The Wall” campaign. This crowdfunding endeavor was supposedly going to help build a wall at the US-Mexico border.

Brain Kolfage led the charge that raised over $25 million, assuring donors that “100% of the funds raised…will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose” and that the men in charge would “not take a penny in salary or compensation.” Both of these claims turned out to be false.

Audrey Strauss, Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, released a statement about the arrests:

Over the campaign’s life, Kolfage took around $350,000 from the organization, which was passed through different bank accounts and nonprofits with the assistance of Bannon and two others. Thankfully, Strauss investigated and brought charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering against these men.

Sadly, there are times when it’s not so easy to pick out scams from legitimate causes, and the “We Build The Wall” campaign is a prime example. It’s critical to ensure that we only donate to trusted organizations and to follow up on them to make sure that the money is being well-spent. Avoiding scams with thorough research and follow-up is key to our prosperity as a nation.

~Here’s to Your Prosperity!

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