What Exactly Are Brian Kolfage and Steve Bannon Accused of Doing?

Steve Bannon by Gage Skidmore is licensed under Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
We Build the Wall is a crowdfunding campaign that has raised more than $25 million from hundreds of thousands of donors. 

On Thursday, Steve Bannon, Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato, and Timothy Shea were arrested and charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count each of conspiracy to commit money laundering in relation to We Build the Wall and misappropriation of the donated funds.

Each of these federal felony offenses carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, which means each defendant faces 40 years of maximum incarceration.

According to the indictment out of the Southern District of New York, in order to induce donors to donate to the campaign, Brian Kolfage, “repeatedly and falsely assured the public that he would ‘not take a penny in salary or compensation’ and that ‘100% of the funds raised . . . will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose.’” Steve Bannon echoed these allegedly false assurances, publicly stating, “we’re a volunteer organization.”