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Feds: Scammer Impersonated Trump Family Members

Joshua Hall allegedly pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2021 4:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – A 22-year-old Pennsylvania man scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars from Donald Trump supporters last year by impersonating the then-president's relatives and urging people to donate to a nonexistent political organization, federal prosecutors say. Joshua Hall has been charged with wire fraud and aggravated identify theft and faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, NBC reports. According to a statement from the Department of Justice, Hall impersonated Trump family members including son Barron Trump "through his creation and use of social media accounts bearing those family members’ names and photographs," gaining more than 100,000 followers.

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Hall, who had been working as a DoorDash driver, also impersonated the president's brother, Robert Trump, and other Trump relatives who didn't have their own social media accounts, the Washington Post reports. He used the accounts to spread conspiracy theories and ask for donations. Prosecutors say Hall pocketed the donations to his fake political organization, Gay Voices for Trump. One fake account, for Trump's sister, Elizabeth Trump Grau, was retweeted by Trump himself. "I was like, 'Oh, my goodness. He actually thinks it’s his sister,'" Hall told the New York Times last year. He told the Times that he supports Trump and there was no "nefarious intention" behind his Twitter posts. (Read more fraud stories.)

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