Thomas Barrack, the billionaire businessman and ally of former President Donald Trump charged with illegally lobbying for the United Arab Emirates, will be released from a California jail on Friday after his lawyers secured a $250 million bail agreement with federal prosecutors.
Under the deal, Barrack must wear a GPS location monitoring device, limit travel to parts of New York and Southern California, adhere to a curfew, and not transfer any funds overseas. His $250 million bond was secured by $5 million in cash.
Prosecutors had initially argued that Barrack, 74, who has been behind bars since his arrest on Tuesday, was a flight risk and should be denied bail. Barrack, who chaired Trump's inaugural fund, is accused of working on behalf of the UAE to sway Trump's foreign policy agenda, according to a seven-count felony indictment unsealed in Brooklyn.
Prosecutors accused him of using his yearslong friendship with Trump to get language inserted into the then-candidate's 2016 energy speech about the importance of working with "our Gulf allies."
According to the 45-page indictment, Barrack was also asked by the UAE for information on Trump's top picks to lead the State Department, the CIA, and the Defense Department. He has also been accused of arranging a phone call between Trump and a top UAE official in 2017.
Barrack has also been charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal law enforcement officials during a 2019 interview about his involvement with the wealthy Persian Gulf nation.
Following his arrest, Barrack's spokesman released a statement that read: "Mr. Barrack has made himself voluntarily available to investigators from the outset. He is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty."
Barrack is scheduled to appear in a Brooklyn courthouse on Monday, where he will be arraigned.
Barrack founded Colony Capital in 1991. The telecommunications infrastructure-focused private equity firm has since been rebranded as DigitalBridge Group. Barrack stepped down as chief executive in 2020.
On Friday, Falcon Acquisition, a special-purpose acquisition company backed by Barrack, withdrew its application for an initial public offering. In March, the New York-based SPAC filed for a $250 million IPO.
Also indicted and arrested Tuesday in the UAE scandal was Barrack's employee, Matthew Grimes, and Rashid Alshahhi, a UAE citizen who lived in California until the FBI interviewed him about the case in 2018. He fled the country three days later.
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Original Author: Barnini Chakraborty