Tom Barrack’s get out of jail card certainly wasn’t free. Barrack, Donald Trump’s inaugural committee chairman and long-time friend, was arrested and indicted earlier this week on federal charges of illegal lobbying and lying to the FBI. Since Tuesday he’s been locked up in a San Bernardino, Calif. jail.
On Friday a federal magistrate agreed to release him pending trial – but only under one of the largest bail-bonds packages on record. The judge ordered the 74-year-old billionaire to secure a $250 million bond with $5 million in cash and slapped a GPS monitoring bracelet on him. He also barred Barrack from transferring funds overseas and restricted his travel to parts of southern California and New York. He also will be subject to a curfew.
The Justice Department had asked that Barrack be held in custody while being moved to New York for the arraignment on its own aircraft, known as “ConAir.” It cited his “vast wealth,” foreign connections and access to private aircraft. They noted that his co-defendant in the case, Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi, fled the United States three days after he was interviewed by the FBI in 2018. Alshahhi hasn’t returned to the United States, and he remains at large.
The other co-defendant in the case, Matthew Grimes, 27, also was freed on a $5 million bond. He, too, will be arraigned Monday in New York.
The $250 million bail-bond package is one of the largest ever required of a defendant awaiting trial in the United States. Previously, Raj Rajaratnam was ordered to post a $100 million bond after being indicted on insider trading charges in 2009. For further context, consider that Ponzi scammer Bernie Madoff’s bail was only $10 million.