What is it with Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and shady real estate deals? A recent report by the Associated Press (AP) exposed another example of the president’s son-in-law’s cruel and corrupt actions against the people who lived in his apartment buildings.
Kushner’s family business bought dozens of apartment building in the Astoria section of Queens (New York City). The people living there had rent-controlled apartments, but Trump’s top adviser in the White House found a way to screw them out of their homes.
NPR wrote that the AP worked with the Housing Rights Initiative to produce a report that explained the depth of Kushner’s crimes against innocent people. They discovered a minimum of 80 falsified construction permits in those 34 building from 2013 to 2016.
By doing so, the Kushner family’s real estate company forced people who believed they had a secure home into the cold. What the president’s son-in-law did next was stunning.
The family business jacked up the price of the apartments and then sold them. According to AP, the real estate company managed to increase the profits:
‘The Kushner Cos. checked a box on construction permit applications in 2015 that indicated the buildings had zero rent-regulated tenants. (However) tax records filed a few months later showed the company inherited as many as 94 rent-regulated units from the previous owner.’
The AP wrote that all of the permits bore Kushner’s signature:
‘While none of the documents during a three-year period when Kushner was CEO bore his personal signature, they provide a window into the ethics of the business empire he ran before he went on to become one of the most trusted advisers to the president of the United States.’
The people who decided to stay also suffered:
‘(They were) subjected to extensive construction, with banging, drilling, dust and leaking water that they believe were part of targeted harassment to get them to leave and clear the way for higher-paying tenants.’
Kushner made a big deal about divesting assets when he became Trump’s top adviser. Yet, Bloomberg reported that while he kept his ownership in three Astoria, Queens apartment buildings. These were not AP’s focus during its investigation.
The Kushner Cos. insisted that it was not at fault. Third parties prepared all of the company’s government filings, and those filings were subjected to independent review:
‘If mistakes or violations are identified, corrective action is taken immediately.’
Authorities convicted Jared’s father, Charles Kushner, 63, in 2005 for “several federal crimes.” The Washington Post wrote that the elder Kushner has remained quiet about his son:
‘One reason for that silence may have stemmed from the 63-year-old Kushner’s background. He was convicted in 2005 of several federal crimes and spent 14 months in an Alabama federal prison, where his son visited him almost every weekend. The younger Kushner declared that the charges were unfair and spoke up on his father’s behalf.’
Kushner Cos. been cited for other questionable actions by authorities. The Washington Post wrote:
‘The company acknowledged last year that the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn had subpoenaed information regarding Kushner Cos. projects that used a program in which foreigners can invest $500,000 in exchange for fast-track status for U.S. residency and possible citizenship. And the company confirmed to The Washington Post in December that it has voluntarily turned over documents regarding a $285 million loan from Deutsche Bank that Jared Kushner obtained for the firm one month before Election Day. But in both cases, Charles Kushner said, he is confident no charges will result.’
Feature Image via Getty Images/Drew Angerer.