Two men who collected money from the public under the promise of using the funds to build a border wall have been arrested on fraud charges.
Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato both plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud Thursday in a Manhattan federal court, according to the New York Post. The duo admitted to lying to donors, saying that they intended from the beginning to use the funds for personal gain. The pair took large salaries from the donations and covered their tracks by lying on their tax forms.
“I knew what I was doing was wrong and a crime,” said Kolfage, according to the New York Post.
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Kolfage, a Purple Heart recipient and triple amputee, lived an apparently luxurious lifestyle after beginning the campaign. Prosecutors said he spent his fortune monthly on cars, entertainment, dining, credit card debt, and more.
The pair have been praised by members of the Trump family in the past. Donald Trump Jr. called the campaign “pretty amazing” in 2018, according to the Post. Eric Trump has also appeared in photos with Kolfage and his wife.
Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon was also charged in the case but was pardoned by former President Donald Trump before leaving office.