SEC Investigating Kushner Companies Over Cash-For-Green Cards Program

January 7, 2018, 4:29 PM UTC

The Kushner Companies, formerly led by White House adviser Jared Kushner, is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over its use of the EB-5 visa program. The program offers permanent U.S. resident status in exchange for large investments in the U.S. and the Kushner Companies have tried to leverage the program to generate investments in its real estate projects.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the investigation is being conducted by SEC officers in Texas, in collaboration with Department of Justice officials in New York. There are no further details about the nature of the investigation. In a statement, the Kushner Companies said they had used the program properly and were cooperating with requests for information.

The Kushner Companies had previously received a subpoena from federal prosecutors over EB-5 investments in at least one specific project, One Journal Square in Jersey City, New Jersey. The Kushner Companies drew scrutiny last May over a push to attract wealthy Chinese investors to that project by touting EB-5 visa opportunities.

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That marketing effort at least briefly invoked President Donald Trump, according to reporting by the Journal. The Kushner Companies have faced broad scrutiny over possible conflicts of interest given their connections to the White House, though Jared Kushner has divested much of his personal stake in the organization.

In particular, the Kushner Cos. are facing substantial financial pressure in connection with a different property, 666 Fifth Ave. The Kushner stake in that building may only be viable if the organization can attract huge foreign investments for a planned redevelopment. But the Kushner Cos. had struggled to attract investors until Donald Trump’s campaign success, when meetings suddenly became much easier to secure.

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