A Pennsylvania man is facing federal charges for allegedly impersonating former President Donald Trump’s family online to dupe supporters into forking over thousands of dollars, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Joshua Hall, 22, a food delivery driver from Mechanicsburg, amassed more than 100,000 followers to fund a phony political organization — even impersonating Trump’s 15-year-old son, Barron, for an online endorsement.
“Josh is an amazing patriot who is doing tremendous things for our great country,” Hall allegedly wrote as Barron in August, according to a five-page complaint unsealed in US District Court in Manhattan on Tuesday.
“He has my COMPLETE AND TOTAL ENDORSEMENT!” the post said.
Federal prosecutors said Hall ran the scam from September 2019 until last December, raising “thousands of dollars” from Trump supporters throughout the US.
“Hall led hundreds of people to believe they were donating to an organization that didn’t exist by pretending to be someone he wasn’t,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said in a statement.
“As we continue to investigate fraud in its many forms we urge the public to remain aware of the prevalence of online scams and exercise due diligence when making donations,” Sweeney said.
Prosecutors said Hall created several social media accounts using the names and photos of Trump and his family.
In July, he allegedly launched a crowdfunding website claiming to raise funds for “field organizing, events, and merchandise,” the federal complaint said.
Instead, prosecutors said he pocketed the money.
Hall is charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft and faces up to 22 years in federal prison if convicted.
According to NBC News, Hall worked as a food delivery worker in Pennsylvania.