A Castle Rock resident named Timothy Shea has been charged along with three other men in a federal border wall fraud case. On Thursday, the 49-year-old Colorado man was arrested along with ex-Trump advisor Steve Bannon for defrauding donors of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The four men ran a fraudulent We Build the Wall fundraising campaign, and made people thinking it to be of a government. According to federal prosecutors, all the arrested men secretly and successfully schemed to rip off donors to an online fundraising scheme. Below is what we got to know about Shea so far.
Timothy Shea Wiki/Biography
A resident of Colorado lives along with his wife Amanda; Runs a Pro-Trump energy drink company and a community Facebook page
Shea lives along with his wife Amanda in Castle Rock, Colorado. He works as a realtor and is also the owner of a pro-Trump theme energy drink company called Winning Energy. According to its official website, the product is made from “liberal tears made in America,” and for “the official fuel of winners.” He is also the registered agent of Winning Energy.
According to the Instagram page of Amanda, she also works at the company. The husband-wife duo also runs a community Facebook page named Top of the Rock. They have made it for the residents of Castle Rock. On the page, they mentioned them to be fully invested in their local area. The duo has also said about its real estate business.
They lasted posted about sending their children back to school during the pandemic situation. In that post, they complained about the on-and-off schedule for in-classroom learning.
The website of We Build the Wall lists Amanda as the Chief Financial Officer
The fraudulent fraud raising website, mentions Timothy Shea’s wife, Amanda, a part of its leadership team. The site refers to her as a social media director, political commentator, and journalist. On her Twitter page, she has mentioned herself as the chief financial officer for the fraud project. She is an active user of Twitter and has often posted about We Build the Wall. She has also tweeted various anti-illegal immigration and coronavirus-skeptical posts. We Build the Wall website also mentions one of her current projects – Fight4FreeSpeech.com, but it is currently not active.
The indictment says Timothy Shea ran a shell company to route money to Brian Kolfage
The federal indictment says that Timothy Shea used to run a shell company. He built it to route the donor money, which he collected to build the Mexican border, to Brian Kolfage. The prosecutors said that the arrested men made fake invoices and faked ‘vendor’ arrangements to keep the payment made to Kolfage confidential and on a ‘need to know’ basis.
According to prosecutors, Shea also ran fake vendors. He thought to pay himself and Kolfage in the form of a shell company, so he came up with the idea. The text messages and emails shared between them revealed that both of them conspired to pay Kolfage for ‘social media’ purposes, the indictment said. It continued to say that Shea, Kolfage, Steve Bannon, and co-defendant Andrew Badolato successfully raised a total amount of $17 million in the first week itself.
They paid themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars. The prosecutors alleged that Kolfage used to take $20,000 monthly salary. Then, Shea used to keep the remaining money after Kolfage was paid. As per a source, in December 2018, it was revealed that donation checks were directed to a PO box in Castle Rock owned by the Sheas.
Amanda revealed that after first meeting with Kolfage in 2015, they both started working on a conservative news site. After a while, she got on board with the wall project. She told that Kolfage is a triple amputee veteran.
Timothy and Amanda had set up a no more existent GoFundMe called Fight 4 Free Speech
In October 2018, Timothy announced via a Facebook post that he started a GoFundMe campaign called Fight 4 Free Speech. It was the story before the We Build the Wall campaign even started. However, the Fight4FreeSpeech site is not active anymore. It used to have a suspended Twitter account.
The post, which introduced to the said campaign, described it to ‘hold the Facebook accountable’ for cutting the voices of conservatives and lobbying Congress to control the social media network. In the Facebook post, Timothy and Amanda had written that within one week, they got overwhelming support from Americans across the nation.
The campaign hasn’t posted anything new since November 2018. The page had live videos purporting the portions of the wall owing to the campaign.
Timothy Shea faces 2 Federal charges; each carries a maximum of 20 years in prison
Timothy Shea, Bannon, Kolfage, and Badolato have been charged for committing wire fraud, and money laundering as told by the prosecutors. All the four men could be prisoned, for a maximum of 20 years in prison, for both the charges separately.
Phillip Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the US Postal Inspection Service is working with Acting Southern District of New York US Attorney Audrey Strauss. The former is prosecuting the case and has said that the four men lied to donors, and schemed to hide the funds, and showed no regard for the law or the truth.
He continued to say that this case should be executed in such a way that it would serve as a warning to other fraudsters so that they won’t be able to think to get above the law in any scenario, be it a disabled war veteran or a millionaire political strategist.