Kushner Companies filed false DOB paperwork at rent-regulated buildings

Pauline Gross
March 20, 2018

In 2015, when the company bought three apartment buildings in Astoria, Queens, where most of the tenants were protected by regulations created to prevent developers like the Kushners from pushing them out, jacking up the rent, and turning a nice profit, the company conveniently filed paperwork claiming there were no such tenants in residence.

As the Associated Press revealed in its new report, Kushner, who reportedly made amendments to federal forms detailing his financial assets and contacts with foreign officials, may have broken some laws when his company allegedly filed fraudulent paperwork to force out rent-regulated tenants from its buildings in NY so they could flip them for profit. But tax documents showed more than 300 rent-regulated units.

In the company's first-known deal, according to Bloomberg, Cadre sold three rent-regulated buildings for $59 million in April 2017, about an 80% premium over what it paid a little more than two years earlier.

"It's bare-faced greed", Housing Rights Initiative founder Aaron Carr told the AP.

Residential buildings with rent controls are worth less than those without and can merit greater oversight by New York City during construction.

A statement from the company to AP said that a contracted third party, not Kushner Cos., was responsible for filing the paperwork.

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City Council member Ritchie Torres, who heads up the council's Committee on Oversight and Investigations, announced this morning that the committee will launch a joint investigation that looks into the prevalence of falsifying building permits, including (but not limited to) the ones found by HRI.

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. Jared Kushner lost his security clearance to the White House amid reports that he failed to disclose more than 100 foreign contacts on his initial clearance application.

Jared Kushner's father, Charles, said the meeting took place but that if Qatari finance minister Ali Sharif al-Emadi and other representatives were ready to provide investment or funds to the real estate company it would not have been accepted, according to The Washington Post. It added that the department is also ramping up its monitoring of construction, hiring 72 new inspectors under city laws recently passed to crack down on tenant harassment. The company also likely made money by reducing the number of rent-regulated tenants and bringing in those who would pay more.

Under the government ethics rule, before taking on his role at the White House, Jared Kushner stepped down as CEO of the Kushner Cos., and sold off part of his real estate holdings. Mary Ann Siwek, a resident of one of Kushner Cos.' East Village properties, says she was offered $10,000 to move out of the building (she ultimately sued and won a free year of rent instead).

He also revealed he was subjected to a 60 percent rent hike.

Romano is still in the building where he has lived for nine years, with his wife, four children and his guests from the construction days - the mice.

Other reports by GizPress

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