Thomas Barrack, a billionaire good friend of Donald Trump who chaired the previous president’s inaugural fund, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with illegally lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.
A seven-count indictment filed by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, alleged that Barrack, a former worker and an Emirati businessman did not register as lobbyists and used their affect to advance the UAE’s foreign coverage objectives within the United States.
Barrack, who was arrested in Los Angeles, can be alleged to have repeatedly lied throughout an FBI interview about his dealings with the UAE.
Barrack’s spokesperson refuted the fees. “Mr. Barrack has made himself voluntarily available to investigators from the outset. He is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty,” the spokesperson mentioned.
US Department of Justice official Mark Lesko mentioned in a information launch that “the defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendships and access to a candidate who was eventually elected president, high-ranking campaign and government officials, and the American media to advance the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiances.”
Barrack, 74, is a long-time Trump ally and founding father of the digital infrastructure-focused non-public fairness agency DigitalBridge Group Inc, which was often known as Colony Capital Inc earlier than a rebranding introduced in June.
Barrack stepped down as DigitalBridge’s chief government in 2020. In April, he resigned as government chairman of the agency however has remained as a non-executive director. Forbes estimates his wealth at $1 billion.
DigitalBridge has about $32 billion in digital belongings beneath administration, which incorporates information facilities throughout North America and the UK. Barrack owns about 5.7% of DigitalBridge, whose shares closed down 1.4% at $6.93 on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for DigitalBridge declined to remark.
Barrack was a outstanding supporter of Trump’s profitable 2016 presidential marketing campaign and directed his inaugural committee.
Federal prosecutors are searching for to have Barrack held in detention, saying in a court docket submitting that his huge wealth, entry to personal jets and historical past of worldwide journey point out he might develop into a fugitive.