Joshua Hall, a 22-year-old man from Pennsylvania who admitted to pretending to be family members of former President Donald Trump online, has been arrested for related allegations of federal fraud and identity theft.
A criminal complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, accusing Mr. Hall of cheating hundreds of Trump’s supporters to donate money to the fictional “Gay Voices for Trump” group, which he allegedly ran.
Federal prosecutors say Mr. Hall pretended to be Trump’s younger brother and teenage son on Twitter in 2020 to promote his own profile on the platform and get the attention of a fake political group.
The complaint says that Mr. Hall managed to raise thousands of dollars for his non-existent “Gay Voices for Trump” group through a crowdfunding website and used the money to cover his personal living expenses.
Hall acknowledged that he was behind several fake Trump family Twitter accounts and the fake group “Gay Voices for Trump” when he profiled him in December after their evolution.
“I didn’t end up doing anything with Trump for Gay Voices,” said The Hall, who called himself Trump. “So I never got the money.”
The crowdfunding website contacted Mr Hall in December to request documentation on how the funds had been used and closed his account if he did not comply, according to the criminal report.
Audrey Strauss, an American lawyer for New York’s Southern District, said in a statement that Mr. Hall had “put his money” in his pocket for his own use.
“Hall has led hundreds of people to believe that they donated an organization that did not exist by pretending to be someone they were not,” said William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant FBI chief executive. we continue to investigate fraud in all its forms, urging the public to remain aware of the occurrence of online fraud and to exercise due diligence in making online donations. “
Mr Hall of Mechanicsburg, west of Harrisburg, was not available for comment, and public court records did not list any lawyers representing him since Wednesday afternoon.
Described by Mr. Hall in December as a food delivery driver who dreamed of becoming a conservative radio host. He reported after cheating on Mr. Trump a few weeks ago.
In late November, Mr Hall used a Twitter account to impersonate Elizabeth Trump Grau, the former president’s rarely seen sister, to send a message denying that her sibling had lost the re-election race.
Mr. Trump then thanked his sister on Twitter for her support and shared an article written about a fake tweet. Twitter has suspended this account and several others operated by Mr. Hall.
It has previously been reported that Mr Hall pretended to be Mr Trump’s five relatives on Twitter between February and December 2020, including his brother, sister and teenage son, among others.