President Donald Trump and those closest to him aren’t just concerned with running a country — they’ve also got a profit to turn. Trump himself and a number of his family members maintain financial stakes in businesses that reach all around the world — and this week, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner saw his own family business slapped with fines from the city of New York over previous deceptive business practices.
The city fined Kushner Companies $210,000 months after the Associated Press first reported on that they’d routinely filed lie-ridden documents with the city. When Kushner himself led the company — he relinquished executive control upon taking a White House job — the business filed at least 42 construction work applications that claimed there to be zero rent-regulated tenants in the buildings in question. In reality, there were large numbers of such individuals residing in the buildings the company had acquired and was working on updating.
The tenants were pressured out of the buildings and the Kushner family business raked in large sums when reselling their now renovated real estate. The Associated Press shared in March that Kushner Companies had resold three buildings for a total of some $60 million, which is over 50 percent more than they’d originally paid for the property.
Their profit didn’t come without a price, however, although the total they’ve been fined is a significant sum less than they originally took in via their illegal maneuvering.
Housing Rights Initiative founder Aaron Carr initially shared with the Associated Press back in March:
‘It’s bare-faced greed. The fact that the company was falsifying all these applications with the government shows a sordid attempt to avert accountability and get a rapid return on its investment.’
Carr is the one who first collected copies of the falsified construction applications in question that the Associated Press reported upon.
More recently, Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has himself, ironically, been drawn into the mix, himself facing accusations of his investment group having lied about rent-regulated tenants residing in a few particular buildings in New York. Concurrent to the falsified documents Carr’s group uncovered, they also uncovered complaints with the city from tenants of the buildings Cohen owned about construction. That didn’t stop the investment group, though, from reselling the real estate for a profit — with a number of tenants having given up and left in the process.
Carr said that their investigation “suggests Cohen had commenced a deliberate campaign to systematically harass tenants out of their apartments using destructive, hazardous and illegal construction practices, so he could dramatically raise rents.”
Whether those accusations amount to consequences for the former Trump lawyer remains to be seen. Having just pleaded guilty to eight felony charges and implicated the president in the process, it’s not as though he’s escaped any consequences for any of his actions.
Kushner, too, has faced scrutiny in the past over his business practices. For instance, they’ve been accused to have mistreated tenants — and former tenants — seeking increasing sums of cash from them and exerting immense pressure when they didn’t pay up.
It’s part of the pattern of Trump and those closest him seeking to get all they can for themselves out of whatever they’re doing.
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