NEW YORK (AP) — One is a triple-amputee Iraq war veteran who ran news sites stoking right-wing rage, often with exaggerated stories. Another owns a company that sells Donald Trump-themed energy drinks. And the third is an ex-columnist for Breitbart and an entrepreneur who has left a trail of failed businesses.
The men charged along with former White House strategist Steve Bannon in a scheme to skim hundreds of thousands of dollars from a crowd-funded project to build a border wall came together through a shared devotion to Trump and a sometimes checkered history of trying to make money off his political movement.
Prosecutors say their promises not to take even a penny from the more than $25 million in donations turned out to be lies, allowing them to make such purchases as a luxury Range Rover, a fishing boat, home renovations and cosmetic surgery.