WSJ: Kushner Cos. Subpoenaed Over Use Of Visas To Secure Foreign Investment

Jared Kushner, son-in-law of of President-elect Donald Trump walks from Trump Tower, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in New York. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Jared Kushner, son-in-law of of President-elect Donald Trump walks from Trump Tower, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in New York. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Kushner Companies, the real estate company run by Jared Kushner’s family, has been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in New York over the company’s use of the EB-5 visa program, which grants green cards to foreigners who invest in U.S. businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday night.

The subpoenas cover the Kushners’ One Journal Square development in New Jersey, but it’s not clear if other developments were also included in the subpoena, the Street Journal reported, citing an anonymous person familiar with the matter.

Emily Wolf, the general counsel for Kushner Companies, told the newspaper that the company complied with the EB-5 program’s rules.

“Kushner Companies utilized the program, fully complied with its rules and regulations and did nothing improper. We are cooperating with legal requests for information,” Wolf said in a statement to the Journal.

The Kushner Companies’ use of EB-5 visas came under scrutiny recently when Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, mentioned her brother’s new role in the White House during a presentation to potential Chinese investors. The company later apologized for mentioning the President’s son-in-law and senior adviser in the presentation.

“In the course of discussing this project and the firm’s history with potential investors, Ms. Meyer wanted to make clear that her brother had stepped away from the company in January and has nothing to do with this project,” the company said in a statement in May. “Kushner Companies apologizes if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors. That was not Ms. Meyer’s intention.”

Kushner divested from the One Journal Square project and has said that he recused himself from EB-5 policy in the Trump administration.

The EB-5 program has faced criticism in Congress, with some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle arguing that the program is ripe for abuse.

“I’ve long called for an end to the EB-5 program. It says that visas—and eventual U.S. citizenship—are for sale, a terrible message for the 4.4 million people waiting in line for visas—some for as long as 23 years,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in a statement following the May reports on the Kushner family’s pitch to Chinese investors.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who is also critical of the program, in May called for scrutiny of the agencies that worked with Kushner Companies to seek Chinese investors for the One Journal Square project through the EB-5 program.

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