Jared Kushner's Company Reportedly Filed False Documents with NYC
19 March, 2018, 18:33 | Author: Wade Massey
At the time, a majority of the tenants in the buildings were happily protected by prevention rules so developers could not raise their rent and force them out of their homes. The deception reportedly enabled them to sell all three buildings for $60 million, almost 50 percent more than it paid.
According to an exclusive Associated Press report, the family of White House Adviser Jared Kushner filed multiple false documents with the New York City housing authorities that allowed them to reap millions in profits on properties they flipped. In reality, there were hundreds.
Housing Rights Initiative, the non-profit, unearthed more than 80 permit applications falsely claiming the absence of rent-controlled tenants for construction at 34 Kushner buildings across New York City. According to tax records filed a few months later, however, the company inherited as many as 94 rent-regulated tenants in these three buildings alone.
In a statement, the company says it would "never deny any tenant their due-process rights" and that it has renovated thousands of apartments and developments with minimal complaints over the past 30 years. Instead, some tenants reported they were urged to get out or forced to live amid the disruption of ongoing construction work as the Kushners prepared to boost rents or sell a building. The man who offered her the money told her that, "I know it's pretty terrible, but we can help you get out".
New York City Council member Ritchie Torres called the Kushner strategy a "weaponization of construction". After construction began the tenants were also plagued by rats. The city says that two of the buildings in Queens are already under investigation for tenant harassment.
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New York City's Department of Buildings did not comment in general about the false filings by the Kushner Cos., but said it disciplined a contractor who filed false documents while working on two of the Queens buildings, which are now under investigation by a tenant-harassment task force.
"We won't tolerate landlords who use construction to harass tenants - no matter who they are", spokesman Joseph Soldevere said.
Kushner stepped down from his role at Kushner Cos. last year, when he accepted a position as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, but he has recently come under fire for potential conflicts of interest and ethics violations regarding continued involvement with the real estate firm. But he retained stakes in many properties, including Westminster Management, the Kushner Cos. subsidiary that oversees its residential properties.
The Kushner Companies apparently circumvented the law yet again, according to reports of another business scandal to befall them this year.
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