Second ‘We Build The Wall’ Fraud Trial Ends With Conviction

NEW YORK (AP) — A Colorado businessman was convicted Friday of building a wall along the southern U.S. border that he and others siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars from online fundraiser. wall.

Timothy Shaye stared straight ahead unresponsive when he was found guilty in Manhattan federal court on two counts of conspiracy and obstruction of justice by a jury deliberating about six hours after a week-long retrial. When asked to comment on exiting the building, he said nothing. A verdict was set for him on January 31st.

Eleven jurors wrote a memo to the judges, with one juror accusing the other of being politically biased and suggesting that the trial should be held in the South.

Shea, of Castle Rock, Colorado, was indicted two years ago along with three others, including Steve Bannon, former top adviser to then-President Donald Trump. Bannon, who is currently indicted in state court, was pardoned by Trump shortly before he left office last year. Two others have pleaded guilty.

With that verdict, the jury dismissed Shay’s attorney, John Meringoro. Prosecutors failed to prove fraud in advertising the “We Build the Wall” fundraiser. Country.

Meringoro also urged jurors in Thursday’s closing arguments to conclude that New York was an inappropriate venue for a trial.

He also did the practical work of negotiating with the homeowners whose walls would be built and providing security for their construction, giving his clients the right to receive reimbursement for the large costs associated with the walls. I tried to convince them that there was a wall just a few miles built.

Shea owns the energy drink company Winning Energy, whose cans feature images of Trump cartoon superheroes and claim to contain “12 oz.” of liberal tears. ”

After the verdict, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement that Shay and his accomplice lied to donors and “stole over $25 million from victims.”

He noted that he failed to obtain a conviction from a jury last spring, and after the trial his office said, “We believe in strong and compelling evidence of Shea’s guilt. I commend the prosecutors in this office for their perseverance in ensuring that justice is done.

Shay’s attorney Meringolo said, “We respect the jury’s verdict.”

Bannon, 68, pleaded not guilty last month to charges in New York state for deceiving investors with his “We Build The Wall” campaign. Presidential pardons apply only to federal crimes.