Tom Barrack will be freed on US$250 million bond as he awaits trial on charges he illegally lobbied the U.S. government on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.
Barrack, the founder of Colony Capital Inc. and a Trump ally, has been in a San Bernardino jail since his arrest Tuesday at an office park in Sylmar, California, his lawyers said in court Friday. His co-defendant and colleague, Matthew Grimes, 27, was arrested in Santa Monica and has also been held at the jail in San Bernardino. Grimes will be freed on US$5 million bond, secured in part by his parents’ US$2.5 million Santa Barbara home.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Donahue approved the bail terms at a Los Angeles court hearing. Prosecutors signed off on the arrangements, which also limit the movement of both men, force them to wear monitoring devices, adhere to a curfew and require them to show up for an arraignment hearing in a Brooklyn courtroom on Monday. Neither Barrack nor Grimes appeared at the hearing Friday, after waiving their right to attend.
Barrack, 74, and Grimes have been charged by federal prosecutors of working on behalf of the UAE in a years-long effort to sway Donald Trump’s foreign policy, according to a seven-count felony indictment unsealed Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York.
In the indictment, prosecutors alleged that four UAE officials “tasked” Barrack, Grimes and a third man, Rashid Alshahhi, 43, who’s also known as Rashid Al Malik, a UAE national, with trying to mold and influence public opinion through media appearances; helping to shape the Trump campaign’s foreign policy and later to develop what the government called a “back-channel line of communication” with U.S. government officials that promoted the interests of the UAE.
Barrack was also separately accused of obstruction of justice and with making false statements in a 2019 interview with FBI agents when he denied being asked to acquire a phone dedicated to communicating with officials in the Middle East.
Barrack’s bond was secured by US$5 million in cash, US$21 million in units of DigitalBridge Group Inc. and homes owned by him, his ex-wife, Rachelle Barrack; his son, Thomas Barrack III and Jonathan Grunzweig, an executive at Colony Capital. Barrack must surrender his passports.
“We have moved great mountains to ensure that Mr. Barrack is able to get out before the weekend,” so that he can get to Brooklyn for Monday’s court appearance, said Matthew Herrington, Barrack’s attorney. He asked permission for Barrack to spend the night at a hotel tonight, instead of returning immediately home before his flight to New York.