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Former Trump Adviser Steve Bannon Arrested over Mexico Wall Fund

Former Trump Adviser Steve Bannon Arrested over Mexico Wall Fund

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon has been arrested on charges that he and three others ripped off donors to an online fundraising scheme "We Build The Wall".

Federal prosecutors alleged that Bannon and three others "orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors" in connection with an online crowd-funding campaign that raised more than $US25 million ($35 million) to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.

Prosecutors said Bannon, 66, and another organiser of the campaign, Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, claimed that they would not take any compensation as part of the campaign, but that was a lie. Bannon, prosecutors alleged, received more than $US1 million through a non-profit he controlled, and Kolfage received more than $US350,000.

The charges were contained in an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court on Thursday, local time.

"As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalising 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," US Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a press release.

Prosecutors alleged Bannon, Kolfage and two others routed payments from the campaign through the non-profit and another shell company and disguised them with fake invoices to help keep their personal pay secret.

All four defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

A phone at the office of Bannon's lawyer went unanswered on Thursday morning. A spokeswoman for Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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