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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Jared Kushner's company is under investigation


A commission of the New York Council investigates a case in Queens against the company of Donald Trump's son-in-law. Kushner Companies have stated that they "value all their tenants", and that "the investigation is trying to create a problem where it does not exist. Kushner companies did not intentionally counterfeit DOB submissions in an effort to harass tenants”.

An investigation into the real estate companies of Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior advisor to President Donald Trump, seeks to determine whether Kushner companies submitted false documentation to New York City to overvalue the price of dozens of purchased buildings.

The work, published initially by the AP agency, indicates that companies routinely presented false documents to city authorities declaring that they had no tenants with regulated rent in dozens of purchased buildings, when they actually had hundreds. Residential buildings with rent controls have less value in the real estate market than those that do not have these characteristics. They can also be subject to greater supervision by New York City during construction or remodeling.

Last Monday, the chairman of the Supervisory and Investigative Committee of the New York City Council, Ritchie Torres, announced an investigation into the Kushner Companies for alleged falsification of permits submitted to the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB). "The investigation will also examine how Kushner companies could have avoided liability, harassed tenants and tried to use the construction as a method of harassment," Torres's office said in a statement sent to Univision Noticias.

Authorities explain to Univision the specific case of the purchase of four buildings in Queens, an area designated by many as an area in gentrification, as the process of urban renewal is called, which causes the original population to be progressively displaced by another of a higher purchasing level. On January 8, 2015, Kushner Companies acquired four buildings in Queens for $ 51 million.

Many of the tenants were protected by special rules that prevent the builders from expelling them, increase rents and generate greater profits when completing renovation works on the properties. The authorities provided documents to Univision Noticias in which they show PW1 forms, for work permits, presented to the city where the company did not include the existence of units with stabilized rent inside the buildings where they were going to carry out work.

Experts indicate that permits for works of forged works are a crime and are punishable by fines or imprisonment. According to the authorities' findings, since 2015 the company has managed to reduce the total number of units with stabilized rents by up to 74%. "As a result, on April 4, 2017, the company sold three of those four rental buildings in Queens for 50% more than it paid two years earlier," they said. Councilman Keith Powers indicated that the impact that this practice may have on the number of units available under this rental modality will also be investigated.