Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, the U.S. Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment regarding the Florida-registered charity “We Build The Wall.” In May 2019, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the state of Florida’s consumer protection agency and regulator of charitable organizations, opened an investigation into the charity. The investigation was prompted by consumer complaints referred by the Office of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. Upon further investigation, the Department’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement subsequently referred the investigation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On the indictments, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried offered the following statement:
“Anyone accused of defrauding Floridians should face the full measure of justice that is required. From the beginning, this investigation has been fully non-partisan, independent, and carried out with the professionalism it deserves. As our department considers further action, I thank the U.S. Department of Justice and federal and state partners for their efforts to protect Florida’s consumers from alleged fraud.”
At this time, the state investigation remains active. The Department cannot comment on ongoing investigations, pursuant to s. 119.071(2)(c)1, Florida Statutes, and s. 570.077, Florida Statutes, and pertinent federal regulations. Following precedent, and pursuant to s. 496.4191, Florida Statutes, the Department is immediately suspending the charity registration for “We Build The Wall.”
The initial consumer complaints forwarded by the Office of the Florida Attorney General may be viewed here. There is no additional public information available at this time.