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Trump pal selling stock, fighting Italian charges

By Laurie Bennett

June 10, 2017 at 10:53am

Like his friend and confidant Donald Trump, real estate investor Tom Barrack is having problems abroad.

Thomas J. Barrack Jr.
Thomas J. Barrack Jr.

Barrack, who chaired Trump’s inaugural committee, has been accused by an Italian prosecutor of conspiring to avoid $190 million in taxes from the sale of holdings in Sardinia.

The properties - including hotels, a golf course and a marina - were sold in 2012 to Qatar (another source of Trump controversy).

Barrack’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli of O’Melveny & Myers, told Bloomberg that the charges were unfounded, and that his client had paid all taxes due.

The grandson of Lebanese immigrants, Barrack used to manage real estate investments for billionaire Robert Bass. He launched Colony Capital in 1991 to buy up failed real estate loans from failing S&Ls.

More recently, he took advantage of the housing crisis, buying up homes through a company called Colony Starwood Homes, then putting them on the rental market.

On Friday, Barrack filed SEC documents saying he had sold off his stake in Colony Starwood for $135 million.

As the Center for Investigative Reporting noted in a story earlier this week, “Barrack, like other close Trump associates, now stands to cash in on looser financial regulations, which he is in a position to shape.”

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