US attorney subpoenas Kushner Companies over EB-5

TRD New York /
Aug.August 02, 2017 08:57 PM

Rendering of One Journal Square and Jared Kushner (Credit: Getty Images)

New York federal prosecutors have issued a subpoena to Kushner Companies over the developer’s use of the EB-5 visa program, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The subpoena pertains, at least in part, to One Journal Square, a two-tower project being developed by Kushner Cos. in Jersey City. A spokesperson for the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment about the subpoena to the newspaper. Emily Wolf, general counsel for the developer, said that it “utilized the program, fully complied with its rules and regulations and did nothing improper. We are cooperating with legal requests for information.”

Kushner Cos. was soliciting EB-5 funds for the mixed-use project, which the developer said will cost nearly $1 billion, more than twice the cost the firm estimated in 2015. In May, Kushner Cos. issued an apology after an incident in which Nicole Kushner Meyer referenced Jared Kushner, former CEO of the firm and now senior aide to President Trump, in the firm’s presentation to EB-5 investors in China. The reference was seen by some critics as a blatant effort to profit from the family’s connection to the White House.

Kushner Cos. has used the controversial cash-for-green card visa program before, at Trump Bay Street, another Jersey City project that Jared retains a stake in. The developer was also soliciting EB-5 funds for a proposed redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue, the company’s flagship property in Manhattan.

The EB-5 program, which gives green cards to foreigners who invest in job-creating real estate projects in low-employment areas of the U.S., has been criticized for funneling money to luxury developments through gerrymandering. Some politicians from both sides of the aisle have called for the program to be abolished, describing it as “citizenship for sale.” But it remains an incredibly popular and relatively cheap method of raising money for developers, particularly in gateway cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Many of the country’s top developers are big proponents of the program, and spend millions lobbying for it to stay in place as-is. In late July, Related Companies co-sponsored an EB-5 investment industry gathering at which U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was tapped as the keynote speaker. [WSJ]Hiten Samtani

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios

EB-5 sees investment boost, tensions flare between brokers and StreetEasy: Daily digest

EB-5 investors rush in ahead of looming rules change

South Florida developers riff on the shift from condos to rentals: TRD Miami Showcase & Forum

Kushner goes to Broward, buying site near Fort Lauderdale train station

Big changes are coming to the EB-5 program

Special counsel Robert Mueller and the proposed Trump Tower Moscow (Credit: Getty Images/Trump Tower Moscow via BuzzFeed)

What the real estate industry should watch for in the Robert Mueller hearings

21 East 12th Street with Charles Kushner and Seryl Kushner (Credit: Getty Images)

Kushner trust buys at Billy Macklowe’s Greenwich Village condo

Kushner-backed Cadre raised $90M through anonymous offshore vehicle since 2017

arrow_forward_ios