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Steve Bannon arrested and charged with fraud

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August 20, 2020

Former Trump administration chief strategist Steve Bannon was charged on Thursday with fraud by federal prosecutors in New York and taken into custody.

The state of play: Bannon, along with three others, allegedly defrauded donors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for their own profit with a crowdfunding campaign called "We Build the Wall" that raked in over $25 million.

The indictment says that Bannon, via a non-profit, took in over $1 million from the scheme "and at least some of it was used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in [his] personal expenses."
Bannon's co-conspirators are Brian Kolfage, who served as the organization's founder and president, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea.
Kolfage deleted the organization's GoFundMe page on Wednesday, alleging that the platform was engaged in "censorship" after it shut down another of his campaigns centered on suing Black Lives Matter.
Why it matters: Bannon's indictment makes him the sixth person linked to the senior leadership of the 2016 Trump campaign to be hit with federal charges.

The others are Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen — all of whom faced indictments under the Mueller investigation.
A lower-level campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, was also charged.
The big picture: According to its website, We Build the Wall's says it "will focus on building portions of a U.S. Southern Border wall and manage the support operations required for, and the processes associated with, the design, engineering, construction, and maintenance of the wall."

The indictment says that the organization did indeed spend money on a border wall but alleges that "hundreds of thousands of dollars were siphoned ... for the personal use and benefit" of the defendants.
They allegedly used the money "for a variety of personal expenses, including, among other things, travel, hotel, consumer goods and personal credit card debts." Kolfage specifically allegedly used his share for "home renovations, payments toward a boat, a luxury SUV, a golf cart, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, personal tax payments and credit card debt."
What they're saying: "As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction," acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement.

"This case should serve as a warning to other fraudsters that no one is above the law, not even a disabled war veteran or a millionaire political strategist," added Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett.
Read the indictment...


I knew I had heard of Brian Kolfage.

zsomething likes this post


lol!   This is the White House's statement:

WH statement on Bannon’s indictment and involvement in what prosecutors say was a wall scheme: “President Trump has not been involved with Steve Bannon since the campaign and the early part of the Administration, and he does not know the people involved with this project.”

And this was on the wall project's website, as a testimonial.

Steve Bannon arrested and charged with fraud Ef3-WH2WsAADd_Q?format=jpg&name=4096x4096

Steve Bannon arrested and charged with fraud Ef3-WIgXYAADhDg?format=jpg&name=900x900

Who them folks?! Never seen 'em before in m'life! Very Happy

Cosplay sheriff David Clarke (he of the chest full of badges he got out of a gum machine) and several other close Trump associates are also part of the project. But the White House doesn't "know" them.

Floridatexan and RealLindaL like this post


Trump has surrounded himself with fraudsters.  It's a prerequisite for the job.

Trump flotilla leader to be charged with felony, his lawyer says

Jupiter resident Carlos Gavidia expected to be charged with sending a threatening text

John Pacenti
Palm Beach Post

Steve Bannon arrested and charged with fraud 09abd82b-5b32-484b-b3db-fde28e425550-Carlos_Gavidia_03

Carlos Gavidia, who earned national attention for his "Trumptilla" boat parades, is expected to be charged with sending a threatening text, a felony, to a resident of his former Jupiter country club community after they clashed over politics, his attorney told The Palm Beach Post on Monday.

Gavidia will surrender at the Palm Beach County Jail on Tuesday morning, said attorney Stuart Kaplan.

UPDATE: Trump boat parade organizer used anti-Semitic slur, sent a threatening text, report states

The criminal charge would come just days after Gavidia attended President Trump’s Republican National Convention speech on the White House lawn Thursday night.

Gavidia organized the boat parades with his vessel as the centerpiece. He renamed his 42-foot Yamaha Invincible boat “Trump” and wrapped it with a banner containing the president's name adorned with an eagle and stars.

He has been embraced by the Trump family and other high-profile supporters and was interviewed on conservative commentator Sean Hannity’s television show on Fox News.

Gavidia’s Linkedin page says he's a committee member of the Trump Victory Finance political action committee, a major fund-raising arm for the president’s re-election. He has also recently posted photos on Instagram of himself with Trump as well as Donald Trump Jr.

The Trump campaign has used the boat parades as a fund-raising tool, sending out an email blast on Sunday asking for donations in return for a replica of flags flown by the vessels. “Trump boat parade supporters are some of the President’s fiercest defenders,” the email said.

In a lengthy interview Monday with The Palm Beach Post, Gavidia said that he and his family were victims of constant harassment in Jupiter’s exclusive Admirals Cove. He said he was just defending himself in the text message in question after days of harassment from one person.

Gavidia told The Post that he moved out of Admirals Cove this week because of continued taunting by a group of people and clashes with the Property Owners Association.

More:Trump rally organizer: Police to provide security amid threats

“Sometimes I regret even wrapping the boat and starting this nationwide movement because I got a target on my back,” Gavidia said. “Everybody wants to make Trump look bad. Unfortunately, I took a stand and I even took a bigger stand when I got ridiculed.”

Kaplan, Gavidia’s attorney, said that after talking to Jupiter Police detectives he expects his client to be charged with written threats to kill or do bodily injury. The charge is a felony carrying up to 15 years in prison.

Gavidia offered to apologize to the resident who received the text message, but the proposal was rejected, Kaplan said.

“It's outrageous and really shameful that law enforcement is involved,” Kaplan said. “I think it is being used as a vindictive means to get even with Carlos.”

Carlos Gavidia and wife Laura at the White House.

Gavidia has faced criminal charges before. He served six months of a 20-month sentence for trafficking in marijuana in Virginia in the late 1990s. He called the event a youthful mistake in which he served only as a go-between.

Gavidia and Kaplan said the Admirals Cove resident making the accusation was an old friend who became angry because of Gavidia’s overt support for Trump. At dinner at the Admirals Cove country club last week, Gavidia said, the resident continued his harassment of him and his wife, Laura, in the restaurant.

With his wife getting increasingly upset, he said, the couple left the club’s restaurant. At that point, an angry Gavidia texted his former friend.

“I’m like, ‘you are (expletive) with the wrong guy. How dare you (expletive) flip me off and start harassing me and my wife at dinner. I’m coming after you. I’m going to ruin your life,” Gavidia said.

Carlos Gavidia and wife Laura with President Trump in Montauk, N.Y.
“He is trying to take it like I said I was going to kill him. I was going to post and expose him for the racist that he is and the political taunting he is doing to me.”

Gavidia, a Peruvian native who came to the United States as a toddler, said he has received hate mail from residents of Admirals Cove, one which he shared that said, “America does not need showy trashy brown people like you.”

Gavidia went on the offensive on social media, posting on Facebook that the pending charges were “bogus.” The post had a photo of Gavidia with Trump confidante Roger Stone.

Kaplan and Gavidia identified the Admirals Cove resident who went to law enforcement as Paul Edenbaum. The Post contacted Edenbaum for comment but he directed all questions to the state attorney’s office before hanging up.

The text message exchange is just the most recent trouble Gavidia has had in Admirals Cove.

More:Jupiter man at the center of Trumptillas

In May, he crashed his Porsche into a palm tree in the gated community and left the scene of the accident. According to a Jupiter police report on May 12, an officer found the Porsche with extensive front-end damage but no driver.

Laura Gavidia told the officer that her husband suffered from a medical episode, possibly blood pressure-related, and was sleeping.

Gavidia eventually told police he had a friend bring him home after the accident and that he fell asleep. He told the officer that he felt he didn’t need to report the accident since it happened on private property. He was issued a citation for leaving the scene with property damage, according to the police report

In the interview Monday, Gavidia said that his flip-flops got stuck under the accelerator, causing the crash. Admirals Cove tried to ban him from driving in the community, but he beat the sanctions at a Property Owners Association hearing, he said.

More:A new kind of political rally: the flotilla

Gavidia came up with the idea of the "Trumptillas" after Admirals Cove neighbors complained about a Trump flag he had hoisted on his boat that violated POA rules. The boat was docked at Admirals Cove.

Before he became an advocate for Trump, Gavidia co-owned a credit card processing business called Direct Connect.

Gavidia was sued in Palm Beach County Circuit Court in February 2009 by two investors who said they had invested $4 million in Direct Connect but failed to see any returns. Gavidia was accused in the lawsuit of running a “racketeering enterprise” in order to defraud investors.

The lawsuit, which sought $12 million, was dismissed after it was moved to federal court and the plaintiffs missed filing deadlines.

Gavidia called the lawsuit "a shakedown" and said the plaintiffs never gave him any money.

A decade before that, Gavidia served federal prison time for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. He was charged in 1998 in Alexandria, Va., and entered a plea the following year.

His original sentence of 60 months was reduced after he provided substantial assistance in investigating or prosecuting another person.

Carlos Gavidia with Donald Trump Jr.

Gavidia entered the media spotlight when he caught COVID-19 during a ski trip to Colorado. He was profiled internationally as a survivor and claimed that hydroxychloroquine, a treatment promoted by Trump, saved his life.

The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned against using the anti-malarial drug for the treatment of COVID-19 because of the risk of heart rhythm problems.

“I’m telling you,” Gavidia told The Post for a profile in May. “It saved my ass.”

More:Hundreds of boats in ‘Trumptilla’ parade from Jupiter to Mar-a-Lago

As his profile rose in May due to the flotillas, Gavidia turned flamethrower on social media in the name of Trump. He posted a photo of the Joker from the Batman film The Dark Knight, writing: “This is what the radical left is trying to position people into FEAR!”

Also on Instagram, Gavidia reposted a video of a man in camouflage with what looks like an assault rifle who says he is “hunting ANTIFA.” Gavidia added the text to the post: “These ANIMALS NEEDED TO BE HUNTED!!”

On Friday, he posted on Facebook that he and his wife were harassed by Black Lives Matter protesters after the president’s RNC speech the night before, posting “cancel culture is REAL.”

“Laura and I witnessed first hand the anarchy of BLM! It was unbelievable. BLM terrorists were there as we left the Whitehouse(sic) gates, after being overwhelmed with hope, gratitude and love of our country!”

Gavidia said “BLM antagonists” yelled obscenities and even spit on people who attended the president’s speech and that the couple had to circumvent the crowds and take an alternate route to their hotel.

“The verbal and physical attacks from these ‘friendly protesters’ have to be dealt with head on! The system is protecting the antagonist if you defend yourself in anyway(sic)!” Gavidia wrote.

Post researcher Melanie Mena contributed to this report.


zsomething likes this post


Corruption and fraud is what they do. How many decent, upstanding folks did Tony Soprano ever hang out with? That's Trump, and for the same reason -- Trump is, and always has been, low-level organized crime. And now he's been given the keys to the candy store and isn't doing a very good job of covering up his sleaze. He doesn't think he has to, really, because he counts on his base to be such mindless cult followers that they'll deny what they're seeing to themselves, and help defend him against anyone who does try to call him out.

If he ever does have anyone decent in his orbit, he'll sleaze them up sooner or later. Look at Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She was probably a more-or-less moral, well-intentioned person when she got into this, and he turned her into a big liar and even made a joke out of maybe pimping her to Kim Jong Un. Trump is a corrupting force... and it's spreading out even to the lowest reaches of his base. A lot of people who probably "meant well" are now part of something truly evil, all because they got caught up and don't want to admit they got fooled by a sociopath. And the sociopath-behind-the-sociopath is Putin. That's a major organized-crime overlord controlling a lower-level one, making a puppet of him. We were warned, some of us didn't listen.

Telstar and RealLindaL like this post

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