© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Billionaire actual property investor Thomas Barrack, Chief Government Officer of Colony Capital, holds a gathering with the media to debate funding plans in Mexico and Latin America, in Mexico Metropolis, Mexico Might 22, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero
By Jan Wolfe and Chibuike Oguh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -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 international coverage objectives in the USA.
Barrack can also be alleged to have repeatedly lied throughout an FBI interview about his dealings with the UAE.
Barrack’s spokesman didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
“The defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendships and entry to a candidate who was ultimately elected president, high-ranking marketing campaign and authorities officers, and the American media to advance the coverage objectives of a international authorities with out disclosing their true allegiances,” U.S. Division of Justice official Mark Lesko stated in a information launch.
Barrack, 74, is a longtime Trump ally and founding father of the digital infrastructure-focused personal fairness agency DigitalBridge Group Inc , which was often known as Colony Capital (NYSE:) Inc earlier than a rebranding introduced in June.
Barrack stepped down as DigitalBridge’s chief govt in 2020. In April, he resigned as govt chairman of the agency however has remained as an unbiased director. Forbes estimates his wealth at $1 billion.
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 in search of 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 may grow to be a fugitive.
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