[Update Below] Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's former campaign manager and former senior White House advisor, has been indicted by federal prosecutors in Manhattan for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a crowdfunding campaign which raised over $25 million to build a wall on the souther border of the U.S., mostly to cover his own personal expenses.

Bannon and three others—Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea—have been charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count each of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. 

They are accused of coming up with a scheme that involved creating a non-profit and shell company in order to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars from the "We Build A Wall" crowdfunding campaign to their own pockets.

According to the indictment, which you can read here, the four men allegedly used fake invoices and sham “vendor” arrangements, among other schemes, to ensure, "as Kolfage noted in a text message to Badolato, that his pay arrangement remained 'confidential' and kept on a 'need to know' basis." While Kolfage publicly promised he would “not take a penny in salary or compensation,” he is accused of covertly taking more than $350,000 for his personal use. Bannon is accused of receiving over $1 million, "at least some of which Bannon used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bannon's personal expenses."

Audrey Strauss, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, said in a statement, “As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction. While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. We thank the USPIS for their partnership in investigating this case, and we remain dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud wherever we find it.”

Among other things, Kolfage allegedly used his funds to buy his boat the "Warfighter."

Bannon joins an infamous group of former Trump advisors and allies who have been indicted and found guilty of various criminal charges. That includes six major associates who were convicted of charges arising from Robert Mueller's probe, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, former Trump Deputy Campaign Manager Rick Gates, former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen, former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser George Papadopoulos, and longtime friend and advisor Roger Stone.

After he was found guilty of lying to Congress and impeding their investigation into Russia's multi-pronged attack on the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Trump commuted Stone's sentence in July.

This week, it was revealed in the Senate Intelligence Committee's Russia report that Stone was drafting pro-Russia tweets for Trump in July 2016, while simultaneously teasing more WikiLeaks dumps. Also, the Trump campaign team heard about the Access Hollywood tape about an hour before its release, at which point Stone told associate Jerome Corsi he wanted Julian Assange to "drop the Podesta emails immediately." WikiLeaks did so 30 minutes after the tape was released.

[Update 12:30 p.m.] It's since come out that Bannon was arrested on a boat Thursday morning off the Eastern coast of Connecticut by U.S. Postal Service agents; he reportedly had been staying on the boat for the last several weeks.

According to the Hartford Courant, Bannon was arrested while cruising Long Island Sound near Westbrook in a $28 million mega yacht called Lady May, which is owned by exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui. Bannon and Guo, whom the WSJ reported “have been spending significant time together on Mr. Guo’s yacht," have both been linked to GTV Media Group, a private company under federal investigation.

When asked about the arrest today, Donald Trump said he "felt very badly" and "hadn't been dealing with [Bannon] for a very long period of time." Despite saying he knows "nothing about the project," he also stated, "I didn't like that project, I thought it was being done for showboating reasons." And he said that the efforts to raise money for the wall with private funds was "something I very much thought was inappropriate to be doing."

Someone who had less of a problem with the fundraiser was Donald Trump Jr., who two years ago praised the campaign, saying it showed "really what capitalism is all about. This is private enterprise at its finest.” (That quote was then included on the campaign's website.)

In a statement today, Trump Organization spokeswoman Amanda Miller said that Trump Jr. "gave one single speech" at a We Build The Wall event and had no other involvement with the group. "His previous praise of the group was based on what he was led to believe about their supposed intention to help build the wall on our souther border and if he and others were deceived, the group deserves to be held accountable for their actions."

Kris Kobach, the former Secretary of State of Kansas who served as the group’s general counsel since early 2019, was accused last year of illegally using the We Build The Wall email list to fundraise for his failed Senate campaign.