May 25 (UPI) — A New York judge Thursday ordered Steve Bannon to stand trial beginning in May 2024 over fraud charges related to a donation campaign to help build a wall along the southern U.S. border.
The one-time White House adviser to former president Donald Trump is scheduled to go to trial May 27 next year on prosecutors’ allegations that he cheated supporters out of millions of dollars.
Bannon, 69, was first arrested in the fall of 2022 for taking money from donors in the so-called “We Build the Wall” campaign but failing to use the money to fund construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as promised.
Prosecutors contend Bannon defrauded 430 Manhattan-based donors out of $33,600, while the indictment lists 11,000 donors and more than $730,000, across New York State.
They allege Bannon and three cohorts working for the group, pocketed donation money earmarked for constructing the border wall.
“Remember, all the money you give goes to building the wall,” the indictment quotes Bannon as saying during a 2019 fundraiser.
Three of Bannon’s associates in April were sentenced in the case, after being found guilty on similar charges.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan set the date for Bannon’s trial.
Merchan is also presiding over the trial of Trump on 34 felony counts. The charges are related to allegedly improper payments of $130,000 during his 2016 presidential campaign to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for keeping silent about an alleged affair.
Trump’s trial is scheduled to start approximately two months ahead of Bannon’s.
Bannon has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and did not speak to reporters Thursday.
Bannon could face up to 15 years in prison, if convicted on all charges.