WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, July 20 (Reuters) – Thomas Barrack, a billionaire pal 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 targets in america.
Barrack, who was arrested in Los Angeles, can also 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 out there to investigators from the outset. He’s not responsible and will probably be pleading not responsible,” the spokesperson stated.
U.S. Division of Justice official Mark Lesko stated in a information launch that “the defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendships and entry to a candidate who was finally elected president, high-ranking marketing campaign and authorities officers, and the American media to advance the coverage targets of a international authorities with out disclosing their true allegiances.”
Barrack, 74, is a longtime Trump ally and founding father of the digital infrastructure-focused personal fairness agency DigitalBridge Group Inc (DBRG.N), which was identified asColony 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 underneath administration, which incorporates knowledge 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 looking for to have Barrack held in detention, saying in a court docket submitting that his huge wealth, entry to non-public jets and historical past of worldwide journey point out he may turn out to be a fugitive.
Reporting by Jan Wolfe in Washington D.C. and Chibuike Oguh in New York; Enhancing by Mark Heinrich and Peter Cooney
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