Steve Bannon Indicted For 'Build The Wall' Fundraising Scheme

·2 min read
Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images Steve Bannon

New York Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Thursday announced the indictment of Steve Bannon, a former top aide to President Donald Trump, and his non-profit, We Build the Wall, Inc.

The indictment came after Bannon, 68, and the non-profit engaged in "a year-long fundraising scheme in which they defrauded thousands of donors across the country out of more than $15 million to line their own pockets, and then laundered the proceeds to further advance and conceal the fraud," the attorney general's office described in a statement.

A New York State Supreme Court grand jury indictment charged Bannon and We Build the Wall with two counts of Money Laundering in the Second Degree, two counts of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree , one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, and one count of Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree.

According to the attorney general's office, Bannon is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday in Manhattan.

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In 2020, Bannon was charged by federal prosecutors over the alleged fundraising scheme. While he received a federal pardon from Trump in the final hours of the administration, presidential pardons do not apply to state investigations like the one in New York.

"There cannot be one set of rules for everyday people and another for the wealthy and powerful — we all must play by the same rules and must obey the law," New York Attorney General James said in the statement from her office. "Mr. Bannon took advantage of his donors' political views to secure millions of dollars which he then misappropriated. Mr. Bannon lied to his donors to enrich himself and his friends. We will continue to take on fraudulent behavior in every corner of society, including white collar criminals, because no one is above the law."

RELATED: Steve Bannon Convicted by Jury on 2 Counts of Contempt of Congress After Ignoring Jan. 6 Subpoena

The indictment adds to the list of legal troubles facing Bannon, who in a separate case in July, was found guilty by a jury which heard arguments during a federal trial over his alleged refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

A jury of nine men and five women convicted Bannon, 68, on two counts of contempt of Congress, which each carry a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail, as well as a fine of $100 to $1,000, according to the Justice Department.

The jury returned a verdict in that case after deliberating for less than three hours.

Bannon is expected to be sentenced in that case on October 21, The Washington Post reports.