The Kushner family's real estate firm has amassed more than half a million dollars in unpaid fines for various sanitation and construction violations in New York City, and much of that account was incurred while President Donald's son-in-law and advisor. Trump, Jared Kushner, ran the company.
City figures compiled for The Associated Press by a group of tenant guards show that most of the fines, $ 350,000, were extended in the last five years. And last month the company was fined $ 210,000 for filing false construction documents.
The hundreds of infractions in dozens of their buildings ranged from seemingly minor – "loose garbage" – to serious, such as not getting permits for electrical work or not notifying authorities of work that could disrupt asbestos.
The Kushner family's real estate firm has amassed more than half a million dollars in unpaid fines for several sanitation and construction violations in New York City, much of that bill incurred while President Donald Trump's son-in-law and advisor. , Jared Kushner ran the company
Most of the fines were for a few hundred dollars each. But in many cases, the company did not show up for the required court hearings, which caused additional fines in fines on the interest payments that allowed the bill to grow.
"This is a company that will reduce costs at any cost, even if it occurs at the expense of its residents and the rule of law," said Aaron Carr, executive director of the Housing Rights Initiative, which compiled the data.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said: "No owner with exceptional violations should get away with escaping consequences, even if they are related to the president" (Photo: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump).
The Kushner Cos. He said the count is misleading because many of the fines are actually the fault of tenants who illegally rent their apartments through Airbnb, and the companies in their buildings do not clean properly. He said fines for illegal rent only total $ 110,000.
"Every owner of a major property in New York receives a fine at some point for something and a snapshot at any time does not tell the whole story," Kushner Cos said. It's a statement. He added that he has complied with hundreds of other fines totaling nearly $ 600,000 over the same five years.
The city's $ 210,000 fine against Kushner Cos. Last month came after an AP report in March that the company filed dozens of applications for building permits claiming it had no tenants with low wages and stabilized rent when, in fact, it had hundreds. These false documents allowed the company to avoid a more strict supervision of the city to avoid that the owners harass the tenants so that they move and thus be able to increase the rents.
The Kushner Cos. He said he will fight against this last penalty in court. It does not have to be paid until the fight is resolved.
Data from the company's old unpaid receipts show that they were fined after failing to appear in scheduled hearings more than 450 times since early 2013, much sanitation violations for dirty sidewalks and not getting rid of garbage properly. In these "no-show" cases, the city typically doubles or triples the amount originally fined.
Any fine not paid within 60 days of a trial by a court or a "no show". In a hearing it starts at the City's Finance Department, which can then turn to private agencies to collect the debt. A spokeswoman for the department did not respond to a request for comment from the AP.
When asked about Kushner's bill, the New York City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, said: "No owner with pending violations should get away with escaping the consequences, even if they are related to the president. "
The photo above is 331-335 East 9th Street, a property of the Kushner family located in East Village of Manhattan, which was fined for multiple violations
Data from the city suggest that Kushner Cos. He is not the only one among large landowners with large bills for unpaid fines. Owner Steven Croman accumulated $ 1 million in unpaid fines before his guilty plea for fraud in 2017, according to a tenant advocacy group of the Cooper Square Committee.
In general, the city has had difficulties to collect from owners, restaurant owners, shops and others. In July, unpaid fines of all kinds in the city reached $ 1.5 billion, largely due to violations of the building and construction code.
Aaron Carr, Executive Director of the Housing Rights Initiative in New York, says that Kushner Cos. & # 39; Cut corners at any cost & # 39;
And those owners and others who are fined have a powerful incentive not to pay: if a fine is not collected in eight years, it will expire & # 39; and it does not need to be paid. In the year to June 2017, $ 94 million in fines expired.
The figure of Kushner Cos. For unpaid fines does not include contractors hired in their buildings, but that is a distinction that often means little to tenants.
On 331-335 East 9th Street, owned by Kushner, Trident Structural Corp. was fined for several violations, including one in 2013 for working without permission. Trident still owes more than $ 10,000 for the work in those buildings and the Kushner Cos. It must be $ 4,000.
The careless work resulted in Uta Winkler's roof collapse twice, the first time she sent gallons of water to her apartment and separated the mold that made her sick.
"It was like coming out of a fire hydrant," said Winkler, who withheld rent payments in protest. & # 39; Nobody from the management company called me. Nothing. It was unreal. "
The Kushner Cos. He said it was immediately remedied when he learned of the damage caused by the water, but could not comment further due to a litigation over Winkler's rental.