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IRS, DOJ Subpoena Investors In Kushner Companies

Published: February 15, 2018
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Source: ZeroHedge

The financial noose around Jared Kushner is once again tightening.

One month after the NYT reported that the records of Trump's son-in-law at Deutsche Bank were subpoenaed, today Bloomberg reports that now the IRS is getting involved, and now US tax authorities have requested documents from lenders and investors in real estate projects managed by Kushner’s family.

The latest instance of following Kushner's money involves gathering information from people who lent money and assembled investors for some Kushner Cos. real estate projects in New York and New Jersey, Bloomberg's source said, with some deals dating as far back as 2010.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department issued the subpoenas within the past year, according to the person.

This particular tax inquiry appears unrelated to other investigations that have since burst into public view, and reportedly began before Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in May to investigate Russian election meddling. In a separate action around that time, U.S. prosecutors in Brooklyn sought information from Kushner Cos. about its use of a foreign visa program.

In the tax investigation, it’s unclear whether authorities are looking at Kushner business associates or the company itself.

A lawyer for Kushner's company, Charles J. Harder, said that "Kushner Cos. is not under investigation for any tax issues. It has had no contact with anyone at the IRS or Justice Department Tax Division. It has received no subpoenas or audit requests about its taxes. It is not in tax court on any audits. If there is an investigation about others’ taxes, it has nothing to do with Kushner Cos. or its businesses."

Well, it has not received them yet: once the DOJ finds malfeasance on the lender side, the borrower's details will be promptly requested too.

To be sure, if the IRS really wants dirt, it won't be difficult to find: the Kushner Cos. was embroiled in a criminal tax case more than a decade ago. Jared Kushner’s father, Charles, pleaded guilty in 2004 to lying about political donations, cheating on his taxes and witness intimidation after arranging a videotape of a brother-in-law having sex with a prostitute.

Four years later, another top company executive was convicted of conspiracy and aiding the filing of false partnership tax returns. Prosecutors accused him of creating false returns by illegally claiming $6 million in deductions for charitable and political contributions, capital expenditures and gift and entertainment expenses. In all, seven people were convicted of tax charges in the scheme. Kushner Cos. wasn’t accused of wrongdoing.

The previously unreported IRS probe is in addition to a probe being conducted by the SEC and Brooklyn prosecutors who issued subpoenas to Kushner Cos. last May, seeking details on its use of the EB-5 program for foreign investors.

The EB-5 program offers foreigners green cards and permanent residence in exchange for investing $500,000 in certain U.S. businesses that create at least 10 jobs per investor. Kushner Cos. used the program to build a Trump-branded apartment building in Jersey City and sought to draw on it for another project there.

Furthermore, the Brooklyn prosecutors also requested documents from Deutsche Bank related to a retail property that the Kushners bought in 2015 for $296 million. Within a year, that property, formerly the New York Times headquarters, was appraised at $445 million, and the Kushners took out $370 million in loans, including $285 million from Deutsche Bank. The bank sold most of the debt to Wall Street investors. The focus of that inquiry isn’t clear.

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