The co-founders of a fundraising organization associated with Steve Bannon, which pledged to support Donald Trump in building a wall along the southern U.S. border, received a four-year, three-month prison sentence on Wednesday.
They were sentenced for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from contributors.
Kolfage and Badolato Ordered to Pay $25 Million in Restitution
Brian Kolfage, an Air Force veteran who lost both legs and an arm during the Iraq War, previously admitted guilt for diverting funds from the campaign that aims on building the wall at the border.
Andrew Badolato, a financier and co-defendant, was sentenced to three years for assisting in the scheme, having also pled guilty.
Tim Shea, a Colorado businessman and the third individual involved in misappropriating funds from the wall project, will face sentencing in June.
Both Kolfage and Badolato are required to pay $25 million in restitution to the victims.
BREAKING: The Steve Bannon associate who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Trump supporters who thought they were donating to build the wall has been sentenced to 4-1/4 years.
Brian Kolfage will also have to forfeit $17.9 million and pay $2.9 million in restitution.… pic.twitter.com/0ZB16a5fha
— CALL TO ACTIVISM (@CalltoActivism) April 26, 2023
Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief political advisor, was not part of the case. Initially arrested on a luxury yacht and charged with federal fraud alongside the other men, Bannon received a pardon from Trump during his final moments in office.
Prosecutors recognized that Badolato profited the least among the four defendants; however, they portrayed him as the “connective tissue” linking Kolfage and Bannon, facilitating the kickbacks between them.
Kolfage, Badolato Agree to Plea Deal Sentencing Range
Kolfage, 41, expressed his remorse and humiliation to Judge Analisa Torres, admitting he did not foresee the extent of the donations received for the cause. He acknowledged drifting from his initial objective of highlighting the country’s flawed immigration system.
“I made a promise not to personally benefit, and I broke that promise,” he admitted.
🚨 prayers needed 🚨Brian Kolfage Jr will be sentenced tomorrow on made up charges. Brian’s only crime was working to build the border wall as part of “We Build the Wall”. I spoke to the Kolfage family this evening and they are optimistic that Brian will get house arrest rather… pic.twitter.com/0lkifbRI5i
— Tim Sharp (@realtimsharp) April 26, 2023
Prosecutors stated in a court filing that Kolfage received over $350,000 in donor funds, which he used for personal expenses such as boat payments, a luxury SUV, and cosmetic surgery.
Bannon was accused of taking over $1 million through a separate nonprofit, secretly funneling a portion of it back to Kolfage.
Kolfage’s attorney previously argued his client should avoid prison time, due to his lack of criminal history and severe disability.This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.