Thomas Barrack, former chairman of Miramax and a major fundraiser for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, is under investigation in Italy for allegedly evading €170M ($190M) in taxes over the sale of a luxury resort in Sardinia.
According to a report in The Guardian, the allegations against Barrack in Italy claim that he and his associates at his private equity firm Colony Capital “orchestrated a complicated scheme involving Luxembourg-based companies to shield tens of millions of Euros from Italian tax authorities after Colony’s 2012 sale of the Costa Smeralda resort to Qatar for €600M ($670M).”
The paper said that Barrack, who delivered a speech at the 2016 Republican convention, and other execs at Colony Capital had not been formally charged for anything. A spokesman from the firm declined to comment on the allegations. The Guardian also said that legal documents relating to the probe suggested that investigators had used wiretaps into the inquiry.
Colony Capital is a global real estate firm which purchased Miramax from Disney in 2010. Barrack served as chairman from 2013 until Capital Colony and Qatar Investment Authority, another shareholder, sold their shares to beIN Media Group last year. Earlier this month, Miramax laid off nearly the entire movie and television production staffs in an overhaul intended to breathe new life into the company.