NEW YORK (KHON2) — Brian Kolfage and Andrew Badolato pled guilty on Thursday, April 21 to defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors with an online campaign called “We Build the Wall.”
Kolfage is a 1999 Kaimuki graduate and Air Force veteran.
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The online fundraising efforts garnered more than $25,000,000 to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.
Court documents said Kolfage repeatedly assured donors that all the funds go to the wall, and that he would not take any compensation.
Official said the former Hawaii resident took more than $350,000 for himself. Badolato and others also got money for themselves. One of the ways the money was taken was they created fake invoices to pay phony vendors.
Officials said Kolfage texted Badolato that his pay arrangement was confidential and kept on a need to know basis.
They pled guilty before United States District Judge Analisa Torres in New York. They will be sentenced on September 6.
They pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Kolfage also pled guilty to tax and wire fraud charges filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.
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Kolfage and Badolato are both Florida residents.