Kushner Companies Fined $210,000 for Filing False Documents: 'It's Bare-faced Greed'

New York's Department of Buildings fined Kushner Companies $210,000 for filing false documents about who lived in the properties it owned.

The real estate firm is run by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, who was CEO until he stepped down to join the White House as a senior adviser to the president. Jared Kushner, 37, is married to President Trump's daughter Ivanka.

Regulators fined Kushner Companies after it repeatedly filed construction permit applications that claimed it housed no rent-regulated tenants in its properties. In reality, however, there were many such tenants.

The Department of Buildings found 17 Kushner buildings across Manhattan and Brooklyn in which there were 42 rules violations between 2013 and 2016.

"Protecting tenants is a key part of our mission to make construction safe for all New Yorkers, and we are determined to hold landlords accountable for the accuracy of their applications—no matter who they are," the department said in a statement sent to Newsweek.

Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for Kushner Companies, told Newsweek in a statement that "no fines were assessed against the company today.

"There were some violations issued for paperwork errors of the same type identified back in March and as we noted then, the company relied on third party consultants for the preparation of these forms and if in error they have been corrected or will be," Taylor said.

"In no case did the company act in disregard of the safety of our tenants. We look forward to presenting the facts before an administrative law judge and until then no amount is due, if any."

According to an Associated Press report from March, false documents helped Kushner to sell three buildings at a large profit because the company had dodged rules protecting rent-regulated tenants from being forced out of their homes.

Disruptive construction work allegedly drove out rent-regulated tenants allowing higher-paying renters to move in in their place, which increased the value of the buildings and their attractiveness to investors.

Authorities might have denied permission for construction work had they known rent-regulated tenants lived in the buildings.

"It's bare-faced greed," Aaron Carr, founder of Housing Rights Initiative, a tenants' rights watchdog group that investigated Kushner's documents, told AP at the time.

"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."

Before Kushner joined the White House, he was also the owner of the New York Observer but stepped down as publisher and sold his stake to his family's trust when he joined the White House.

Jared Kushner
Senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump Jared Kushner listens as Trump speaks on the telephone with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto August 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kushner's family real estate business was fined by New York buildings regulators for filing false documents. Win McNamee/Getty Images
Kushner Companies Fined $210,000 for Filing False Documents: 'It's Bare-faced Greed' | U.S.