Real estate company Kushner Cos. was fined $210,000 by New York City regulators Monday because owners falsified information on construction permit documents for years, the Associated Press reports. Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, was still CEO of his family’s company when these falsified documents were filed, according to NPR.
The company claimed it had little or no rent-controlled tenants when it actually had hundreds throughout its buildings, AP reports. The errors resulted in fines for 42 violations across more than a dozen properties Monday.
The New York City Department of Buildings requires developers to report how many rent-controlled tenants they have when seeking a construction permit to remodel property. This helps the department protect the tenants from being pushed out by skyrocketing rents and unbearable living conditions during construction, a tactic used to make room for higher-paying renters.
Reports gathered by AP show some of Kushner Cos.’ tenants felt construction in their building was intentionally invasive in order to drive them out. Many did leave, decreasing the property’s number of rent-controlled tenants and increasing its monetary value.
A spokesperson for Kushner Cos. denies these allegations, telling NPR on Monday that “no fines were assessed against the company today.”
“There were some violations issued for paperwork errors,” the spokesperson said, but added that “the company relied on third party consultants for the preparation of these forms and if in error they have been corrected or will be.”
According to The New York Times, revelations Monday show Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, also falsified documents. A report issued by tenant activists show Cohen’s investment group claimed there were little or no tenants in three Manhattan buildings, when in fact there were many tenants, a large number of them with rent protections.
Cohen’s group reportedly only held the buildings for a few years, but after construction (and the vacancy of a number of rent-controlled tenants), it sold the buildings for a profit.