Man accused of pretending to be Trump, family online to defraud victims

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A Pennsylvania man pretended to be former President Donald Trump or a member of his family in order to defraud hundreds of victims across the country, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Joshua Hall is charged with fraud and identity theft after federal prosecutors said he misrepresented himself or others while soliciting funds for a purported Trump reelection organization that did not exist, ABC News reports.

Instead, Hall used the funds raised - thousands of dollars - for his own personal living expenses, according to the criminal complaint.

"Central to the scheme was the impersonation by Joshua Hall, the defendant, of members of the President's family, among others, through his 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.



In one instance last July, Hall allegedly created a social media account using the name and photograph of one of the president's siblings, who is referred to in court records 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 also allegedly impersonated the former president's youngest son, Baron, who is referred to as 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.'"

ALSO READ | Sarah Feinberg to replace Pat Foye as head of MTA
EMBED More News Videos

In a shakeup at the nation's largest transit agency, Sarah Feinberg will be nominated to replace Patrick Foye as head of the MTA.



----------
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* Follow us on YouTube
* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.