Brian Kolfage is a triple-amputee Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient who created a GoFundMe last December 16, asking for donations toward construction of a US-Mexico border wall that has stymied President Trump because of Congress’ refusal to fund the wall.
Kolfage promised that “100% of your donations will go to the Trump Wall” and that “If we don’t reach our goal or come significantly close we will refund every single penny.”
Kolfage’s goal is $1 billion. As of this morning, $22,229,287 have been donated by 261,937 people, which comes to an average of $84.87 per donor. If the most recent 10 donations are an indication, most donations are small, made by ordinary Americans, not the super-wealthy:
- Helen Watson: $13
- Anonymous: $10
- Danuta Frazier: $40
- Denise Angewine: $25
- Cherrie Lamon: $20
- Michael Degrood: $50
- Anonymous: $19
- Judy Schultz: $10
- Michael A. Sherrill: $80
- James Hill $50
All of which makes it even more imperative that Kolfage’s GoFundMe drive is a creditable undertaking.
Clash Daily is an authentic conservative website founded by Doug Giles, who is a conservative Christian patriot.
Given the conservative credentials of Clash Daily, we should take note that it is raising questions about Kolfage’s donation drive.
Wes Walker reports for Clash Daily, May 14, 2019, that Brian Kolfage is “now being accused of being a scam artist, using donations meant for his multi-million-dollar Build The Wall project to fund a jet-set lifestyle” and a $600K boat that Kolfage maintains was purchased prior to the GoFundMe campaign and paid for “by other means”.
Walker quotes a May 13, 2019 Daily Mail article:
But the Florida resident [Kolfage] is now facing repeated questions about the progress of the wall and attention has also turned to a $600,000 boat he says he bought a year before he began the GoFundMe appeal.
A source told The Stern Facts that Kolfage is now living a high-flying lifestyle, saying: ‘Whether he ordered it last year with the year before is irrelevant it’s still nearly a million dollar boat. Those new toys are very expensive as is flying private.’
He has previously posted image of his travels on private jets and with pricey cars. In February he posed, along with his wife, in front of a plane saying ‘it looks like our first piece of land for @webuildthewall is a go!’ The couple are understood to have flown with the Veterans Airlift Command.
But after a seemingly lack of progress and a reported 300,000 individual donations one supporter asked: ‘I am very disappointed in you Brian Kolfage, where are the progress photographs?’
Another added: ‘Quit talking about it and do it.’ On Twitter another asked: ‘Why no updates on the status of the wall? I have a feeling this is a scam.’
In an apparent attempt to alleviate donor’s concerns the We Build The Wall Inc posted a video to Facebook on Monday appearing to show steel bollards being cut in the factory.
They wrote: ‘Just when we thought that the fake news media couldn’t get more ridiculously desperate, they’re now proving how low they’ll go by claiming that ‘We Build The Wall’ founder, Brian Kolfage, bought a yacht with the GoFundMe money.
‘It takes simple skills to see that the boat he bought and posted photos on Instagram was purchased a YEAR before he began the GoFundMe.’
It’s not clear how this private effort would interact with any federal plans sought by Trump to build a wall with government funds in many of the same areas, or with local building regulations.
On his personal Facebook page Brian, who has been accused of misusing funds he raised in the past, said: ‘There’s no update because we are remaining silent for a very good reason.
‘You all will have the best present very soon. Remember powerful people want to stop our progress, so to not tip anyone off we are radio silent! The ACLU would file a lawsuit to impede our wall success if they knew where and when.
‘But when I guaranteed we’d build the wall I meant it, and we are working with many congressmen and senators to help us mitigate these issues from the left wing attack groups! We are in the homestretch and it’s on a need to know basis.’
Walker points out that the private jet and $600K boat are not the only “red flags”, and that “several Right-of-Center news providers have complained about his ‘news’ site being guilty of straight-up copy-and-past plagiarism, passing off unattributed columns written by other people as though they were his own…. Not exactly the sort of behavior one would call worthy of someone wearing the badge of ‘hero’.”
However, the one example named by Walker is John Prager who, according to tucson.com, has written about Kolfage on the blog Americans Against the Tea Party (AATTP), accusing Kolfage of plagiarizing news stories and posting them on his own websites without attribution. But Americans Against the Tea Party, as its name says, can hardly be considered “Right-of-Center”. Efforts to access the website http://aattp.org/ bring you to a blank page with this cryptic message:
For his part, as reported by tucson.com, Brian Kolfage, in June 2014, filed a defamation lawsuit in Arizona’s Maricopa County Superior Court against “seven defendants in various states who he claims libeled him in Facebook postings accusing him of plagiarism and claiming he’s racist, homophobic and a drug abuser.” John Prager is one of the defendants named in the lawsuit.
According to Daily Mail, another red flag is a claim by Buzzfeed News, which itself is a dubious news site, that the three military hospitals with which Kolfage said his program had worked — Walter Reed, Brooke Army Medical Center, and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany — told Buzzfeed they have no record of Kolfage working with them.
For his part, Kolfage says that BuzzFeed “100 percent lied”.
In December 2018 when I first wrote about Brian Kolfage, I had noted that his GoFundMe page identified him as being in Miramar, FL, but the address to send check donations is a UPS store in a strip mall in Castle Rock, CO.
But according to Spokeo, there is no Brian Kolfage in all of U.S.A.; and according to TruthFinder, there is no Brian Kolfage in Miramar, Florida, or anywhere in Florida, nor is there a Brian Kolfage in Castle Rock, CO, or anywhere in Colorado. TruthFinder, however, does have two Brian Kolfages:
- Brian Gregory Kolfage, 65, born in 1953; lives in and owns a modest home in Dearborn Heights, Michigan; has a small business in Dearborn Heights called Professional Home Care — a medical apparatus and supplies business, with an annual revenue of $1,343,193 and a staff of approximately 10. (Manta)
- Brian G. Kolfage, 37, born in 1981; lives in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and has lived in Dearborn Heights, MI (in 2000); Miramar Beach, FL; Mulberry, FL; San Angelo, TX; Tucson, AZ; and Honolulu, HI. His business and employment history are listed as the same as 65-year-old Brian Gregory Kolfage (his father?) — Professional Home Care in Dearborn Heights.
This 37-year-old Brian G. Kolfage is likely the GoFundMe Brian Kolfage. Why he gives two addresses on GoFundMe (Miramar, FL and Castle Rock, CO), neither of which is his actual residence in Dearborn Heights, MI, is a mystery.
It shouldn’t be all that hard to someone in authority to sort out fact from fiction.
After all, how hard should it be for him [Kolfage] to present some receipts, and demonstrate conversation between himself or his designate and the related suppliers or foremen for a project of this scale?
If everything checks out and his project is going forward with the money accounted for? Great.
But if they discover that the patriotism and fear of good people have been leveraged for personal gain, his military service offers him no shield against becoming crooked when he rejoins civilian life.
In that case, Purple Heart or no, throw the book at him.
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