Andrew Badolato faces federal indictments for money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud along with President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Steve Bannon, Timothy Shea and Brian Kolfage, all of whom are accused of siphoning a total of around $1 million in funds that were donated to Kolfage’s We Build the Wall crowdfunding venture which took money from Americans to be used to build a border wall between the U.S and Mexico.
While donors were promised that Kolfage would “not take a penny in salary or compensation” and “100% of the funds raised will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose,” according to the indictment, prosecutors say that the four men secretly plotted and skimmed money from the donors to pay Kolfage, who started the campaign, and to put into their own pockets.
The indictment says the men worked together to launder the money through a shell non-profit called Non-Profit-1, each getting hundreds of thousands of dollars that they used for personal gains.
Kolfage is accused of using money from donors to pay for “home renovations, payments toward a boat, a luxury SUV, a golf cart, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, personal tax payments, and credit card debt,” according to court records.
Prosecutors say the other men, “each received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds from We Build the Wall, which they each used to pay for a variety of personal expenses, including, among other things, travel, hotels, consumer goods, and personal credit card debts.”
Here is what you need to know about Andrew Badolato:
1. Badolato Lives in Florida & Is a Venture Capitalist & Entrepreneur who has Filed for Bankruptcy At Least Twice
On Badolato’s private Twitter page, his bio says, “Venture Capital, entrepreneur, classical liberal, single father, raised 3 sons, recent 2x grandfather, can skin a buck and run a trotline,” a reference to the Hank Williams Jr. Song, “A Country Boy Can Survive”.
Badolato’s personal webpage and LinkedIn account list several companies he has started over the years going back to 2001. His company Bye Bye Now ended up claiming bankruptcy in 2001 due to the dot.com crash, according to Badolato’s website. He also reported that in 2006 he wrote that he filed again for bankruptcy, this time personal, which he blames on the retroactive new homestead laws passed by congress.
In 2018 Badolato co-founded Golden Goose Technologies LLC, (GGT) which he describes as “formed in 2018, specializes in the licensing, incubation and commercialization of technologies developed by defense contractors, DARPA labs and other leading research institutions and centers.”
He is also the Director of a company called White Knights and Vultures, “A boutique venture capital, private equity, financial advisory and professional services firm that incubates, develops, finances and assists niche-specific business opportunities,” according to his LinkedIn page.
White Knights and Vultures is named in the indictment as one of 11 company accounts that are ordered to forfeit funds having to do with the federal case.
2. Bannon & Badolato Exchanged Texts in Which They Discussed the Importance of Message That All the Proceeds Would go to Building a Border Wall Was Vital to Keeping Donors Money
As part of the evidence in the indictment, prosecutors say that Bannon and Badolato texted about how it was important to keep up the narrative that the Build the Wall effort was entirely run by volunteers and all of the money from donors would be used for that purpose.
Badolato texted if they did that the effort would become “the most talked-about media narrative ever” since it “removes al self-interest taint” and “gives Brian Kolfage sainthood,” according to the indictment.
Prosecutors say it was Badolato who insisted on sending an email to all of the donors stating that no one was getting paid and that was a “material item” to donors.
Kolfage also went on social media and assured donors no one was getting any money from donors, and according to the indictment some donors wrote to him saying they didn’t have a lot of money and did not trust online fundraising campaigns but they trusted Kolfage. He allegedly wrote them back promising he was not being compensated.
3. Badolato Has Mob Ties & Those Ties — As Well as He & Bannon’s Relationship — Were All In Place When Bannon Was Working to Get Donald Trump Elected to the Presidency
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune has done extensive research and reporting on Badolato and found that in August 2016 Bannon used Badalto’s home address to register to vote in Florida while he was living in D.C working on the Trump campaign.
In years before that Badolato was known to have had ties with the mob.
The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported in 2018:
Badolato, though never charged with a crime, has been associated with criminal activity in the past. According to a federal court document, for example, he borrowed $12,500 at 500 percent interest in 2008 from Luis Caputo, a Sarasota resident who claimed ties to the Gambino organized crime family. Federal court records show Badolato was threatened by Caputo when he couldn’t pay back the loan. He eventually helped the FBI bring down Caputo on extortion charges by taping their meetings and exchanging marked bills. Caputo was sentenced to two years in prison in 2013 and died a year later at age 78. Badolato was so afraid of Caputo, records show, that he requested after-hours protection by the Sarasota Police Department.
But mob ties aren’t the only sordid affairs Badolato is accused of.
4. 3 Women in 4 Years Accused Badolato of Sexual Assault
In 2006, 2009 and 2010 three different women reported to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office that Badolato raped them. He was never prosecuted because according to the sheriff’s office none of the women pursued filing criminal charges after initially making the claims.
Badolato, who says he’s a single dad who raised three sons on his social media pages, was accused by a nanny and two women he met online and flew to his home.
The nanny told police in 2006 that Badolato wouldn’t pay her until she gave him oral sex and said that was part of her job. She hesitantly agreed to do it, crying, she told deputies, and then he took it further and fully raped her.
In another case, Badolato saw a woman on a modeling website and said he wanted to photograph her and flew her into Tampa. Once back at his house, she says he forced himself on her multiple times.
The third woman has a similar story — she agreed to fly to Florida after the two met on a website. She says once back at his house he wasted no time demanding sex. She told investigators “I didn’t expect to have sex with him the first night.”
In the police reports, it says they went to Badolato about the allegations and he said it was all consensual, but that in the future he would, “be more careful picking his dates.”
5. Badolato Calls Himself a Hobbyist Conservative-Oriented ‘Classical Liberal’
While liberalism isn’t generally a word associated with Breitbart or Bannon, Badolato boasts that he’s been an infrequent contributor on Breitbart News, formerly owned by Bannon, and his articles picked up on the Drudge report, saying on his website, “Some mainstream political media analysts suggested the data articles were responsible for one of the largest national political narrative shifts of the election year.”
At least one of his data-based articles had to do with the Trump campaign.
According to the Mises Institute, “Classical liberalism is the term used to designate the ideology advocating private property, an unhampered market economy, the rule of law, constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press, and international peace based on free trade.”
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