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September 26, 2021
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Trump friend Tom Barrack ordered released on $250 million bond, his SPAC pulls SEC registration, IPO plan

Trump friend Tom Barrack ordered released on $250 million bond, his SPAC pulls SEC registration, IPO plan
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Thomas Barrack, Executive Chairman and CEO, Colony Capital, participates in a panel discussion during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 28, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.

Michael Kovac | Getty Images

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday ordered the release on a $250 million bond of Thomas Barrack, the private equity investor charged with illegally lobbying his close friend ex-President Donald Trump for the United Arab Emirates.

The order requires the release bond — which is among the highest ever set in the world — to be secured by $5 million cash.

It also includes restrictions on Barrack, who will be fitted with an electronic bracelet, GPS monitoring, in addition to being subject to a curfew and to the surrender of his passport.

The conditions detailed at a hearing in LA federal court where Barrack’s co-defendant and business associate Matthew Grimes was ordered released on a $5 million bond.

Both men had been in jail in Los Angeles since Tuesday when an indictment against them and a third defendant was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court.

Barrack, 74, and the 27-year-old Grimes during their hearing Friday were ordered to appear in court in Brooklyn on Monday. Both men had waived their right to appear in court in person on Friday.

Also Friday, Falcon Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company backed by Barrack, told the Securities and Exchange Commission it is withdrawing its registration statement with the agency “because the company has elected to abandon” planned transactions.

The transactions had included an initial public offering of 25 million shares to raise $250 million for Falcon Acquisition, which was formed by Barrack’s family office Falcon Peak, and TI Capital.

Falcon Acquisition, which had planned to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, had said it was targeting tech-driven businesses as candidates for mergers.

A lawyer for Falcon Peak did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment. 

Barrack and Grimes originally were due to have their bail hearing in Los Angeles on Monday. But that was moved up to Friday after prosecutors reached a deal on bail conditions with defense lawyers.

Prosecutors earlier in the week had asked at Barrack’s first court appearance in LA on Tuesday that he be detained until at least he appears in court in Brooklyn for another hearing because of the risk that he could flee to avoid facing the charges. Barrack holds Lebanese citizenship and has a private jet.

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Barrack, who was chairman of Trump’s 2017 inauguration fund, is accused with Grimes and UAE national Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi of secretly advancing Emirates’ interests at the direction of senior officials of the oil-rich Gulf country. Prosecutors said the three influenced the foreign policy positions of Trump’s 2016 campaign, and continued that effort during Trump’s presidency through April 2018.

Barrack also is charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements during a June 2019 interview with federal law enforcement agents.

The indictment noted that Barrack at the same time informally advised American officials on Middle East policy, and sought appointment to a senior role in the U.S. government, including as special envoy to the Middle East.

Alshahhi, 43, remains at large.

Barrack stepped down last year as CEO of Colony Capital, a private equity firm he founded, and as its executive chairman in April.

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