Federal regulators are investigating the real estate company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, over its use of a controversial "investor" visa program. The previously unknown probe reportedly began this past May and focuses on the company's use of the EB-5 visa program, which awards green cards to immigrants who invest at least $500,000 in eligible US businesses.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the investigation is being conducted by SEC officers in Texas, in collaboration with Department of Justice officials in NY.
Kushner Cos. makes frequent use of the EB-5 program to raise investment capital for its real estate development projects.
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The EB-5 program offers green cards to aspiring immigrants who invest at least $500,000 in certain USA businesses that have been determined to create at least 10 jobs per investor. As The Wall Street Journal reported previous year, that month the company received a separate subpoena from NY federal prosecutors asking for information about development projects financed in part by the EB-5 program.
"Kushner Cos. utilized the program, fully complied with its rules and regulations, and did nothing improper".
Kushner resigned from his role leading Kushner Cos when he was appointed Trump's senior White House adviser early past year but still owns a stake in parts of the business, according to his most recent personal financial disclosure form, the Journal said.
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Kushner Cos.is not a publicly-traded company, but the SEC has jurisdiction to investigate the transaction because EB-5 investments are considered securities offerings, according to the WSJ.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report says the investigations may have been prompted partly by a marketing campaign in Beijing and Shanghai in which Kushner's sister, Nicole Meyer, encouraged Chinese investors to put their money into a New Jersey real-estate development run by Kushner Cos.in return for visas. The Kushner Companies drew scrutiny last May over a push to attract wealthy Chinese investors to that project by touting EB-5 visa opportunities. The marketing materials claimed that up to 300 individuals who put $500,000 each into the project could be eligible for green cards.
Kushner Cos.is under investigation by federal authorities for at least two 2016 transactions, including a $285 million loan the company received from Deutsche Bank in October 2016.
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