A Pennsylvania man is accused of impersonating former President Donald Trump and a member of his family in order to defraud hundreds of victims nationwide.
ABC News reports Joshua Hall was charged with fraud and identity theft after misrepresenting himself or others to solicit funds by claiming they were going toward a nonexistent Trump reelection organization, according to federal prosecutors.
Hall instead took the thousands of dollars raised and used them for his own living expenses, a criminal complaint stated.
The complaint said the alleged scheme to obtain the funds involved the "creation and use of social media accounts bearing those family members' names and photographs."
"Hall used those accounts to amass more than 100,000 followers on social media and obtain media coverage, a public platform he then exploited to confer on himself and the Fictitious Political Organization a false imprimatur of close ties with the President's family and to encourage victims to make monetary contributions to the Fictitious Political Organization," the complaint said via ABC News.
Hall is accused of creating a social media account using the name and photograph of one of Trump's siblings during one incident related to the scheme that occurred in July, according to court records referring to the victim as Victim-1.
"Hall, impersonating Victim-1, made a public social media post that falsely stated that Victim-1 runs the Fictitious Political Organization with Hall and that 'Josh is doing great work so please give him a follow and support him!'" the complaint said.
Hall is also accused of impersonating Trump's youngest son, Barron, 15, who the complaint refers to as "the president's minor child (Victim-2)."
"Hall, impersonating Victim-2, made a public social media post that stated that Hall was Victim-2's 'friend and partner' and that 'Josh is an amazing patriot who is doing tremendous things for our great country. He has my COMPLETE AND TOTAL ENDORSEMENT!'" the complaint stated.
Hall made his first court appearance on Tuesday (June 8) and was released on a personal recognizance bond of $25,000, but did not make a plea, according to ABC News.
He is ordered to surrender travel documents and stay within the Middle District of Pennsylvania except for traveling to court, as well as undergo a mental health evaluation and have no contact with any of the victims involved in the incident.
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