There have been a multitude of articles and reports surrounding President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. One that is not getting enough media attention is regarding an unethical business maneuver as a leader of the family real estate company.
Shawn Boburg of The Washington Post reported details how Kushner utilized a legal loophole that critics compare to gerrymandering to apply for a federal program that saved him $50 million on his company’s luxury condos in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
The EB-5 visa program Kushner and his business partners used to build the luxury towers at 65 Bay Street on the Hudson River waterfront “made it appear that the luxury tower was in an area with extraordinarily high unemployment, allowing Kushner Companies and its partners to get $50 million in low-cost financing through the EB-5 visa program.”
“At the same time, they excluded some wealthy neighborhoods only blocks away,” reported Boburg.
The loophole is legal, but “prominent members of both parties say has been plagued by fraud and abuse.” The Trump administration is considering legislation that would make EB-5 gerrymandering harder, and Kushner has reportedly said he’d recuse himself from the decision once it reaches the president’s desk, according to Raw Story.
The program offers expedited visas for wealthy foreigners that are willing to invest in specific areas.
The EB-5 program allows “wealthy foreigners” to get “a fast-track residence visa by investing at least $500,000 in a project in a ‘targeted employment area.’”. “To qualify, the area must have an unemployment rate 1.5 times the national average. For developers, the terms of the investment are more favorable than a bank loan.”
Kushner Companies is reportedly trying to abuse the EB-5 program for another luxury property in Jersey City, this time to raise $150 million in the Journal Square neighborhood.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)