The Kushner Companies has finally struck a deal to get the building that was supposed to be the centerpiece of its portfolio, but instead had weighed it down for years, off its hands.
Brookfield Properties announced Friday afternoon that it has acquired a 100% leasehold interest in the building, a 1.5 million square foot property at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, for 99 years through one of its funds. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
As NYT reported
The deal is likely to raise further concerns about Jared Kushner’s dual role as a White House point person on the Middle East and a continuing stakeholder in the family’s company. Mr. Kushner in February lost his top-secret security clearance amid concerns that foreign governments could attempt to gain influence with the White House by doing business with his firm. In January, The Times reported that his firm last year received a $30 million investment from Menora Mivtachim, a large Israeli insurer, just a few days before Mr. Kushner flew to Israel for his first diplomatic trip to the region.
Although he resigned as chief executive of the family’s company when he joined the White House in January 2017, Mr. Kushner retained most of his stake in the firm. He shed some of the assets — including his stake in 666 Fifth Avenue — by selling them to a trust controlled by his mother. His real estate holdings and other investments are worth as much as $761 million, according to government ethics filings.
Before 2016, Kushner was a donor to the Democratic Party. He serves on the boards of Touro College, Stern College for Women, Rabbinical College of America, and the United Jewish Communities.
Kushner has donated to Harvard University, Stern College, the St. Barnabas Medical Center, and United Cerebral Palsy.
He contributed to the funding of two schools, Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, in Livingston, New Jersey, and named them after his parents.
Kushner Hall is a building that is named after him on the Hofstra University campus. The campus of Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center is named the "Seryl and Charles Kushner Campus" in honor of their donation of $20 million.
In August 2015, Kushner donated $100,000 to Donald Trump's Make America Great Again PAC, a super PAC supporting Trump's 2016 campaign for the presidency. Kushner and his wife also hosted a reception for Trump at their Jersey Shore seaside mansion in Long Branch
- 20190610 : Company part-owned by Jared Kushner got $90m from unknown offshore investors since 2017 by Jon Swaine ( Jun 10, 2019 , www.theguardian.com )
- 20190414 : Convicted Felon Charles Kushner Is Back in Business ( Mar 25, 2019 , jewishbusinessnews.com )
Old News ;-)
[Jun 10, 2019] Company part-owned by Jared Kushner got $90m from unknown offshore investors since 2017 by Jon Swaine
"... Kushner was initially denied a security clearance by career officials when he joined Trump's administration. A whistleblower has told Congress it was blocked due to concerns about Kushner's outside business interests and "foreign influence". Kushner was later granted a clearance, allegedly after a Trump appointee intervened. ..."
"... Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer in Bush's administration who ran for the Democratic US Senate nomination in Minnesota last year, said he was troubled by the lack of disclosure around some of Cadre's funding. "The problem with Kushner – and with Trump – is that we have all these corporate entities, and often nobody knows who is invested in them and where those investors borrowed their money. We simply have no idea," said Painter. ..."
Jun 10, 2019 | www.theguardian.comOverseas investment flowed to Cadre while Trump's son-in-law works as US envoy, raising conflict of interest questions
in New York
Jared Kushner, who is married to Donald Trump's elder daughter Ivanka, kept a stake in Cadre after joining the administration. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters A real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner has received $90m in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle since he entered the White House as a senior adviser to his father-in-law Donald Trump.
Investment has flowed from overseas to the company, Cadre, while Kushner works as an international envoy for the US, according to corporate filings and interviews. The money came through a vehicle run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands , a tax haven that guarantees corporate secrecy.
Kushner, who is married to Trump's elder daughter Ivanka, kept a stake in Cadre after joining the administration, while selling other assets. His holding is now valued at up to $50m, according to his financial disclosure documents.
Cadre's foreign funding could create hidden conflicts of interest for Kushner as he performs his work for the US government, according to some ethics experts, who raised concerns over the lack of transparency around the investments.
"It will cause people to wonder whether he is being improperly influenced," said Jessica Tillipman, a lecturer at George Washington University law school, who teaches government ethics and anti-corruption laws.
Kushner resigned from Cadre's board and reduced his ownership stake to less than 25% after he joined the White House, according to his attorneys. He failed to list Cadre on his first ethics disclosure, later adding the company and saying the omission was inadvertent. Cadre says he is not actively involved in the company's operations.
The names of the foreigners investing in Cadre via Goldman Sachs are not disclosed by the companies, which are not required to make the information public. Two sources familiar with the firm said much of the money came to the Cayman Islands vehicle from a second offshore tax haven, while some came from Saudi Arabia.
Kushner was initially denied a security clearance by career officials when he joined Trump's administration. A whistleblower has told Congress it was blocked due to concerns about Kushner's outside business interests and "foreign influence". Kushner was later granted a clearance, allegedly after a Trump appointee intervened.
The White House and Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Kushner, did not respond to questions about the foreign investors and Kushner's stake in Cadre.
A spokesman for Cadre declined to comment on the record. A spokesman for Goldman Sachs, Patrick Scanlan, said: "Cadre does not have access to any information about the Goldman Sachs clients who have invested in these vehicles."
Cadre was founded in 2014 by Kushner, his brother Joshua and their friend Ryan Williams, who previously worked for Goldman Sachs. The company operates from a building in Manhattan owned by the Kushner family's real estate corporation.
The company styles itself as an online marketplace where investors can come together to buy property. But it has also built a real estate investment fund, now worth more than half a billion dollars, that is used to buy properties across the US. The fund's value has risen fivefold since 2017, when Kushner was appointed a White House adviser, following earlier slower growth.
The offshore Goldman Sachs vehicle began collecting funds for Cadre in August 2017, according to a securities filing . The bank announced in January last year that it had struck a deal for clients to invest up to $250m in total with Cadre.
The vehicle is managed by accountants in the Cayman Islands and is owned by another offshore Goldman Sachs entity. The arrangement is legal. Offshore jurisdictions have come under increased scrutiny in recent years from international authorities concerned about their secrecy.
Funding from the Cayman Islands vehicle goes into Cadre's real estate purchases in the US, according to sources familiar with the company's work. Cadre charges an annual fee and takes a cut of profits made from the properties.
This funding is separate from ownership stakes in Cadre itself bought by venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and foreign billionaires, including the Chinese technology tycoon Jack Ma and the Russian investor Yuri Milner. Cadre last year held talks with a fund backed by money from the Saudi Arabian government, but no deal was done.
Trump and several members of his administration, including Kushner, have bucked precedent by retaining business interests after entering the government. George W Bush and Bill Clinton moved their wealth into "blind trusts", while Barack Obama had few assets beyond savings accounts and investments in index funds.
Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer in Bush's administration who ran for the Democratic US Senate nomination in Minnesota last year, said he was troubled by the lack of disclosure around some of Cadre's funding. "The problem with Kushner – and with Trump – is that we have all these corporate entities, and often nobody knows who is invested in them and where those investors borrowed their money. We simply have no idea," said Painter.
Government officials are barred by law from being involved "personally and substantially" in actions that benefit them financially, and are obliged to ensure they do not create an appearance of bias.
Kushner says he has excluded himself from government policy on real estate. A footnote to his financial disclosure form said he was recused from "particular matters in the broker-dealer, real estate, and online financial services sectors to the extent they would have a direct and predictable effect on Cadre".
The conflict of interest law treats spouses' financial interests as combined. Ivanka Trump has been credited by Trump with advocating for an administration policy that promises to be lucrative for real estate developers and investors. She denies any impropriety.
Kushner's own recusal on real estate matters in front of the government would not in itself prevent him from taking actions in other policy areas that could entice foreign investors to Cadre.
In all, Cadre's investment arm manages more than $522m in assets, according to its latest filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was submitted at the end of March.
Kushner has had financial ties to several different countries. His family's single most expensive purchase, a skyscraper on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, was last year refinanced by a fund backed by the Qatari government. In an article for the Washington Post defending the family's businesses, Kushner's father, Charles, said foreign investments were "a legal and appropriate stream of funding".
As Trump's special representative in the Middle East, Kushner has developed a close relationship with Saudi Arabian officials, particularly the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Cadre says it does not have any sovereign wealth funds among its investors.
Sources familiar with Cadre's setup said a small amount of money in the Goldman-Cadre vehicle, estimated at about $1m, came from Saudi Arabia. Other funding arrived through vehicles based in the British Virgin Islands, adding another layer of offshore secrecy to its origins.
Virginia Canter, the chief ethics counsel at the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said the opaque investments in Cadre would continue raising concerns as Kushner carried out his government duties.
"It was one of the only assets that Kushner retained and it continues to collect foreign investors without transparency," said Canter, a former White House attorney for Obama and Clinton.
Kushner owns a stake worth between $25m and $50m in a "holding company for" Cadre, according to his most recent financial disclosure form, which he filed in May 2018. Kushner and his wife estimate their total wealth at between $235m and $812m.
Cadre was one of dozens of holdings added to a revised version of Kushner's 2017 financial disclosure form that corrected his original filing.
Williams, Cadre's chief executive, has said the firm is "democratizing" real estate investment. The small print of its website says its offerings are intended only for people who earn at least $200,000 a year or have a net worth of $1m excluding the value of their home. The company requires a minimum investment of $50,000.
Cadre recently announced plans to raise multimillion-dollar funds to invest in real estate developments in parts of the US covered by the Trump administration's "opportunity zones" program, which offers valuable tax breaks to developers and investors.
The program was championed by Ivanka Trump, according to her father, who said at the White House that Ivanka had been "pushing this very hard". The remarks raised allegations that policy she worked on could benefit her husband financially. She has denied any impropriety.
[Apr 14, 2019] Convicted Felon Charles Kushner Is Back in Business
"... Jared Kushner is 36 and he had already stepped up to a senior position in his family's real estate business Kushner Companies. This was in part because daddy Charles Kushner was in jail. But now that he has taken on a job as White House advisor to President Trump, Jared Kushner has been forced to step aside from Kushner Companies and his father Charles Kushner is stepping back in. ..."
"... So Charles Kushner, father of current Presidential advisor Jared Kushner and son in law to the President has been convicted on federal election fraud charges and witness tampering. ..."
"... Well Larry Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization focused on election laws, put it best when he told Bloomberg , "It can't hurt to be doing business with Jared Kushner's family. It's a road to the administration. At the very least they're going to have an inside track." ..."
Mar 25, 2019 | jewishbusinessnews.com
Jared Kushner's father , Charles Kushner, who also just so happens to be a convicted felon, has gotten back to work. He has also hired some of the people who he did time with.
In 2004 , after already paying a $508,900 fine to the Federal Election Commission for improperly contributing money to political candidates, Charles Kushner was forced to agree to a plea bargain with Federal prosecutors and was sentenced to 14 months in a federal prison in Montgomery, Alabama. The charges against Kushner revolved around illegal campaign contributions and witness tampering. Charles Kushner had arranged for a prostitute to sleep with his brother in law William Schulder, who had agreed to testify against him. The encounter was filmed and Kushner used it to try and blackmail Schulder. Gross!
The federal prosecutor who handled the case was none other than future New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie later worked side by side on Donald Trump's presidential campaign with Jared Kushner, the son in law of the President Trump who just so happens to also be the son of Charles Kushner.
Jared Kushner is 36 and he had already stepped up to a senior position in his family's real estate business Kushner Companies. This was in part because daddy Charles Kushner was in jail. But now that he has taken on a job as White House advisor to President Trump, Jared Kushner has been forced to step aside from Kushner Companies and his father Charles Kushner is stepping back in.
Did you follow all of that?
At the time Chris Christie stated about the charges, "There is nothing, nothing more sacrosanct than the integrity of the grand jury system."
Apparently prison is a good place to make business connections. Avram Lebor and Richard Goettlich are two former convicts who served prison time with Charles Kushner who are now working for Kushner Companies. Bloomberg reports that the two men were convicted in separate fraud schemes. Lebor, 68, served seven years in prison and is now the firm's director of acquisitions. Goettlich served ten years in jail for his part in a ponzi scheme.
The two men were hired as part of the Kushner Companies' second-chance program. Charles Kushner is board member of Getting Out & Staying Out, which mentors young inmates at Rikers Island.
So Charles Kushner, father of current Presidential advisor Jared Kushner and son in law to the President has been convicted on federal election fraud charges and witness tampering.
The big question now that everyone is still asking about his son Jared is whether or not he will be able to separate his new job working for the people of the United States from his business interests, or if there will be conflicts of interest. And will doing business with Kushner Companies make it easier for you to get access to the White House?
Well Larry Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization focused on election laws, put it best when he told Bloomberg , "It can't hurt to be doing business with Jared Kushner's family. It's a road to the administration. At the very least they're going to have an inside track."
So what is Charles Kushner doing these days?
The Real Deal reports that Charles Kushner just spent $12 million on three units in 212 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Encompassing an area of 4,614 square feet, the three apartments are each on a different floor, the seventh, eighth and ninth floors.
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- Kushner Companies in the FBI's FOIA Library The Vault
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