Tom Barrack’s SPAC withdraws its IPO filing days after the billionaire was arrested and charged with illegal lobbying

Tom Barrack, former Deputy Interior Undersecretary in the Reagan administration, delivers a speech on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Thomas Barrack

  • The SPAC backed by Thomas Barrack withdrew its IPO application with the SEC on Friday.
  • The move comes days after the billionaire was arrested and charged with seven felony counts.
  • Falcon Acquisition had filed for a $250 million IPO in March with the goal of targeting tech-driven businesses.
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The blank-check company backed by billionaire Thomas Barrack withdrew its application for an initial public offering Friday, just days after the 74-year-old was arrested and charged with seven felony counts.

Falcon Acquisition, the New York based-SPAC led by Barrack, filed for a $250 million IPO in March this year with the goal of targeting tech-driven businesses. Falcon Acquisition was founded in 2020.

In a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission dated July 23, the company only said, “it has elected to abandon the transactions subject thereto.”

On July 20, Barrack, the chairman of Donald Trump’s inaugural fund, was accused of illegally lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of the United Arab Emirates.

Barrack was charged along with Matthew Grimes and Rashid Sultan Rashid Al Malik Alshahhi.

The billionaire’s spokesperson told Insider that Barrack, founder and former executive chairman of the investment-management firm Colony Capital, would plead not guilty.

Barrack was arrested in Sylmar, California, and has been held in a federal jail in Los Angeles since then. He is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday.

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The White House is expected to put a refugee advocate in charge of reuniting separated migrant families, per report

Families belong poster at WH
In June 2018, activists marched past the White House to protest the Trump administration’s separation of children from immigrant parents.

  • The Biden administration has inherited the task of reuniting migrant families separated under Trump.
  • NBC News reported that the White House is likely to put a refugee advocate in charge of the effort.
  • Michelle Brané would be a welcome leader to the task force which is mostly made up of government officials.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In a move likely to please the immigration community, the Biden Administration is expected to name a refugee advocate as executive director of the task force charged with reunifying migrant families that were split up under former President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” family separation policy, according to NBC News.

Sources told the outlet that if chosen, Michelle Brané, director of migrant rights and justice programs at the Women’s Refugee Commission, would oversee the task force’s day-to-day operations as it works to reunite nearly 550 children who were separated from their parents at the US southern border under the Trump Administration in 2018 and in pilot programs preceding the short-lived policy’s implementation.

Brané’s organization, the Women’s Refugee Committee is already part of a steering committee that a federal judge has tasked with finding the parents of the hundreds of children still separated from their families.

Insider reported earlier this month that nonprofit groups were specifically put in charge of the effort because government representatives could not necessarily be trusted.

Brané would be a welcome leader to the inter-agency task force which is mostly made up of government officials, NBC News reported.

Around 2,000 kids separated under the formal policy have already been reunited with their parents, and 600 more are either with sponsors in the US or have already reached legal age, Felipe De La Hoz reported for Insider. 

But late last year, ACLU lawyers said they hadn’t been able to contact the parents of 545 migrant children, and lawyers estimated that the administration had already deported two-thirds of those parents back to Central America without their children.

Though Trump ended his “zero-tolerance” policy in June 2018 after public outcry, the Biden Administration has inherited the court-ordered effort to reunify those still separated nearly three years later.

The process of reunifying families is tedious and delicate work, requiring a combination of combing through government data and deploying on-the-ground connections, De La Hoz wrote for Insider.

Read more: Meet the little-known power player with the ‘hardest job’ on Capitol Hill. She’s shaping Trump’s impeachment trial and Joe Biden’s agenda.

One source familiar with the matter told NBC News that Brané’s role would be “essential to the success of the task force,” which is chaired by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Michelle Brané is widely recognized as a leading expert on protection of at risk children and families displaced by violence and persecution in Central America. I can’t imagine anyone else who would be better for the job of leading the effort to right the wrongs inflicted on families separated at the border by the Trump administration,” Wendy Young, president of Kids in Need of Defense told NBC News.

Brané declined to comment to NBC News. 

Read the original article on Business Insider