Federal prosecutors filed new charges against him on Friday sole remaining defendant Charged with conspiracy to defraud donors in a crowdfunding drive to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
Of the four men initially charged only in the case of We Build the Wall Timothy Sheas The case appears to be headed for trial. He was originally charged with the former President Donald Trump’s Ex-Chief Strategist Steve BanonIraq war veteran Brian Kolfageand Andrew Badolato.
Although everyone faced the same allegations, Trump pardoned only Bannon towards the end of the 45th President’s term. Kolfage and Badolato who it supposedly was Bannon’s longtime frienddecided on pleadings that have yet to be accepted by a judge.
For now, only Shea remains to face a jury on May 16.
If or when Shea stands trial, he would face yet another federal charge his three former co-defendants have ever filed. All were initially charged with conspiracy to defraud We Build the Wall donors and launder their money. The detachment accusation against Shea, filed Friday but dated Thursday, has an additional charge of forgery.
“Shea prepared and caused the preparation of documents incorrectly backdated and giving false reasons for payments from We Build the Wall to Shea and from Shea to Brian Kolfage with intent to obstruct an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office or to influence Bureau for the Southern District of New York,” it reads.
Prosecutors insist the additional charges will not delay the trial.
“The government notified the defendant through counsel at least a few weeks ago of the possibility of a substitute indictment, including that the substitute indictment would likely include the obstruction allegations,” US Assistant Attorney Nicholas Ross wrote in a Letter on Thursday and explained the basis of the new fee. “The changes to the indictment will not result in a new discovery and should not impact the estimated length of the trial.”
On Thursday, prosecutors also explained why they want to allow evidence that Shea allegedly told a suspected government witness to “watch his back” and that he “knows people in a New York Mafia crime family.”
Shea’s attorney John Meringolo asked a federal judge to omit that evidence because his client “never set foot in New York” except once for a family vacation.
“He is clearly and definitely not affiliated with any person or group that could even conceivably be identified as such,” Meringolo wrote. “The government’s false allegations would be ridiculous, if not so consequential for this very important moment in Mr. Shea’s life.”
For prosecutors, the defense argument “misses the point.”
“The government does not intend to use this evidence to prove that the accused had ties to organized crime families,” they said wrote. “Instead, this evidence is directly relevant to establishing the mood and particularly the guilt of the defendant.”
Meringolo did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s email seeking comment.
Read the indictment below:
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
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https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/prosecutors-accuse-last-we-build-the-wall-defendant-of-falsifying-records-threatening-suspected-witness-with-supposed-mafia-ties/ Timothy Shea receives new charges in the We Build the Wall case