Local ‘We Build the Wall’ founder faces new charges

Local News

Brian Kolfage

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A local man accused of fraud and money laundering offenses in connection to a border wall fundraising group is facing new charges, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Brian Kolfage of Miramar Beach was indicted by a federal grand jury for crimes related to his 2019 income taxes. The indictment alleges that between January 2019 and July 2020, Kolfage engaged in a scheme to defraud the government in relation to his 2019 federal income tax returns.

The charges allege that Kolfage received hundreds of thousands of dollars from multiple organizations during 2019, including We Build the Wall, Inc., which were deposited into his personal bank account. Kolfage is alleged to have failed to report this income to the Internal Revenue Service.

Kolfage already faced a separate federal indictment out of the Southern District of New York for fraud and money laundering-related offenses.

And on Thursday prosecutors announced Kolfage filed a false amended tax return in December of 2020 a few months after the original indictment became public.

If he is convicted Kolfage will face 20 years in prison.

Kolfage’s alleged partner in the ‘We Build the Wall’ scheme was Steve Bannon, a former advisor to President Donald Trump. He faced similar charges from federal prosecutors. However, he was pardoned by Trump before he left office.

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