Colony fires Rick Gates after 12-count indictment

He served as a consultant to chairman Tom Barrack

From left: Thomas Barrack, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump and Rick Gates
From left: Thomas Barrack, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump and Rick Gates

Real estate firm Colony NorthStar Inc., led by billionaire chairman Thomas Barrack, fired Rick Gates on Monday following a 12-count indictment that includes charges of money laundering, tax fraud and illegal foreign lobbying, Bloomberg reported.

Gates was hired as a consultant in March to advise on the firm’s data centers, radio towers and media, Barrack told Bloomberg. His week-to-week employment was subject to termination on 24 hours’ notice.

Barrack, who is a longtime friend and adviser of President Trump, had been working alongside Gates since the election when he hired Gates to be a part of the inauguration committee.

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The businessman-turned-lobbyist was charged alongside Paul Manafort – Trump’s former campaign manager – in a 12-count indictment procured by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Gates and Manafort surrendered to the FBI in the morning and have since been placed under house arrest.

Gates, who is often referred to as Manafort’s protégé, has been accused of laundering over $3 million, among other crimes. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison. [Bloomberg] – Natalie Hoberman