The co-founder of a fundraising group linked to Steve Bannon that promised to help Donald Trump construct a wall along the southern U.S. border was sentenced to four years and three months in prison on Wednesday for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors.
Brian Kolfage, a decorated Air Force veteran who lost both of his legs and an arm in the Iraq War, previously pleaded guilty for his role in siphoning donations from the We Build the Wall campaign.
A co-defendant, financier Andrew Badolato, was also sentenced to three years for aiding the effort. He had also pleaded guilty. A third man involved in siphoning funds from the wall project, Colorado businessman Tim Shea, won’t be sentenced until June.
Kolfage and Badolato were also ordered to pay $25 million in restitution to the victims.
Absent from the case was Bannon, Trump’s former top political adviser. He was initially arrested aboard a luxury yacht and faced federal fraud charges along with the other men, but Trump pardoned him during his final hours in office.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought new, state charges against Bannon last year. He is awaiting trial. Presidential pardons apply only to federal crimes, not state offenses. Bannon has called the case “nonsense.”
Kolfage, Badolato and Shea were not pardoned by Trump, leaving them to face the prospect of years in prison. [Continue reading…]