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Border wall crowdfunding scheme leads to Trump ally Steve Bannon’s arrest

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One of President Trump’s former top political advisors was arrested in connection with a crowdfunding scheme to build a U.S. border wall, according to charges unsealed by federal prosecutors Thursday. Steve Bannon is one of four individuals named in the indictment who now face charges for conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for their work on a campaign known as We Build the Wall.

We Build the Wall began in late 2018 as a GoFundMe campaign launched by U.S. Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage. The ill-fated effort to privately fund a border wall with Mexico quickly attracted many high-profile Trump allies, including Bannon, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and Erik Prince, a defense contractor and the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

gofundme webuildthewall

Original GoFundMe campaign.

While those names don’t appear in the indictment, Bannon and Kolfage are now on the hook for what happened to the more than $25 million the campaign raised. The campaign’s website and team page remain online.

“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 for Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss said in a statement.

“While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle.”

The indictment details how Bannon and the other men allegedly took in hundreds of thousands of dollars while representing the We Build the Wall campaign as a volunteer effort that in no way would benefit them. Kolfage made repeated claims that he would “not take a penny in salary or compensation.”

Bannon allegedly siphoned off more than a million dollars from the $25 million the scheme drummed up, using hundreds of thousands for personal use. Kolfage is accused of putting $350,000 from the campaign toward his own personal expenses. The men attempted to conceal their payouts through a nonprofit, shell companies and a series of falsified invoices and fake vendor relationships.

In a timely twist, the U.S. Attorney’s office named the United States Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the USPS, as a key player in the investigation.

“We thank the USPIS for their partnership in investigating this case, and we remain dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud wherever we find it,” Strauss said.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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