Colorado businessman gets over 5 years in prison for ‘We Build The Wall’ fundraiser fraud

A Colorado businessman convicted of fraudulently siphoning lots of of hundreds of {dollars} from an internet fundraiser that raised $25 million to construct a wall alongside the U.S. southern border was sentenced Tuesday to 5 years and three months in prison.

Timothy Shea was sentenced in Manhattan federal courtroom by Choose Analisa Torres, who presided over an October trial that ended together with his conviction on fees together with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit cash laundering and obstruction of justice. A trial earlier in 2022 had ended when a jury deadlocked on fees.

Shea, 52, of Fortress Rock, Colorado, additionally was ordered to forfeit $1.8 million and to pay restitution of an equal quantity.

Shea was charged three years in the past together with three others, together with Steve Bannon, the previous high adviser to then-President Donald Trump. Trump pardoned Bannon in early 2021 whereas two others pleaded responsible and had been sentenced to prison. Bannon, who’s now being prosecuted in New York state courtroom, has pleaded not responsible.

Torres stated Shea and the others not solely cheated donors but in addition “damage us all” by damaging religion in the nation’s political system by capitalizing on those that believed that constructing a wall would assist safe the nation’s borders.

She famous that donors who testified at trial included a longtime Military veteran and a trainer whose deceased husband had labored as a border agent.

Earlier than the sentence was introduced, Shea informed the decide that he regretted “the entire ‘We Build The Wall’ stuff.”

He requested for leniency, saying his spouse and teenage kids wanted him at house.

Prosecutors stated Shea pocketed $180,000 in a fundraiser that promised donors that 100% of the cash raised would go towards constructing the wall.

Shea owns an power drink firm, Profitable Vitality, whose cans have featured a cartoon superhero picture of Trump and declare to comprise “12 oz. of liberal tears.”

In a launch, U.S. Lawyer Damian Williams stated Shea abused the belief of donors when he “stole lots of of hundreds of {dollars} in donations to line his personal pockets, and tried to impede the federal investigation of his legal conduct.”

The scheme started after late 2018, when lots of of hundreds of donors started pouring hundreds of thousands into the marketing campaign to construct a wall.

Earlier this yr, Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato had been sentenced after pleading responsible to fees in the case. Kolfage, 41, of Miramar Seashore, Florida, obtained 4 years and three months in prison whereas Andrew Badolato, 58, of Cocoa, Florida, was sentenced to a few years in prison.

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