Capitol Hill rioters to be fined to reappropriate collected donations
At least 33 riot defendants have faced fines totaling more than $124,127 so far this year.
According to The Guardian, individuals involved in the Capitol Hill riots on January 6, 2021, are reportedly being sued by federal prosecutors to strip them of the money they have gathered through online donations.
Prosecutors involved in criminal cases of the January 6 riots have reportedly been asking judges to impose fines on top of the prison sentence to claw out the money the rioters have accumulated from funds, according to an AP review of court records.
The rioters' pretext for calling for funds has been to cover legal fees, which is legal in the US, however, the Justice Department has been skeptical of the declared objective of these funds such that those charged have been benefitting from government-funded legal representation in their court cases.
GiveSendGo has been the prosecuted rioters' go-to online fund site (which is presented as “The #1 Free Christian Fundraising Site”) as an alternative to GoFundMe and other mainstream online funds (from which those involved in the capitol hill riots were barred).
After being convicted of imprisonment for threatening "American democracy" in the capitol hill riots, many of those involved started advertising themselves as unjustly imprisoned by the Biden administration and the Democratic Party to garner funds and support from their sympathizers.
At least 33 riot defendants have faced fines totaling more than $124,127 so far this year. AP reported that prosecutors are seeking $390,000 worth of fines from 21 other riot defendants. In the past two years, around 100 riot defendants were fined $240,000.
The Guardian report listed a handful of rioters who have accumulated thousands of dollars from online funds and are currently legally entangled with the federal state.
Among those who have marketed their riots begging pity funds are Daniel Goodwyn, Markus Maly, Nathaniel DeGrave, John Strand, and Simone Gold.
Daniel Goodwyn, a Texan who was involved in the riots on January 6, has notably advertised his funds' website. The Justice Department is fining him for more than $25,000 of the funds he had accumulated from his website by marketing rioters as "political prisoners".
Nathaniel DeGrave, a Nevada resident, who was sentenced to more than 3 years in prison, was also fined $25,000.
John Strand, a novel cover model, was fined $50,000 on top of a prison sentence.
Back in early May, a US jury ruled that four members of the neo-fascist political organization Proud Boys are guilty of seditious conspiracy for taking part in the attack on the US Capitol that was aimed at keeping former President Donald Trump in power.
Among the convicts was Enrique Tarrio, the 39-year-old former "national chairman" of the group whose charges have been issued after a three-month-long trial in Washington DC.
The three other members are Joseph Biggs, 39, Ethan Nordean, 32, and Zachary Rehl, 37, all of whom are ranked as lieutenants in the movement. A fifth Proud Boy named Dominic Pezzola was found innocent. The sentence carries a maximum of 20 years, which all four convicts are expected to serve.
As of today, over 1,000 have been arrested in connection to the Congress storming. Over 600 have been convicted so far, but only a handful were faced with charges of sedition, which implies inciting people to rebellion.