Real estate titan Tom Barrack was arrested on Tuesday morning on federal charges tied to illegally lobbying Donald Trump for the United Arab Emirates, according to the Department of Justice.
A seven-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Barrack, Matthew Grimes and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, also known as “Rashid Al Malik” and “Rashid Al‑Malik,” a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, with acting and conspiring to act as agents of that nation between April 2016 and April 2018, according to the Department of Justice.
The indictment said the charges are related to advancing the interests of the UAE at the direction of senior UAE officials by influencing the foreign policy positions of the campaign of a candidate in the 2016 presidential election. The indictment did not name Trump, but did say the candidate was eventually elected president.
The indictment also charges Barrack with obstruction of justice and making false statements during a June 20, 2019, interview with federal law enforcement agents.
Barrack and Grimes were arrested Tuesday morning in California and were scheduled to make their initial appearances this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Patricia Donahue at a federal courthouse in Los Angeles. Alshahhi remains at large.
“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,” stated acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko in a statement.
Barrack founded real estate giant Colony Capital. He stepped down as CEO in 2020 and as executive chairman earlier this year.
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