Jared Kushner’s Family Business Gets $800-Million Federally-Backed Real Estate Loan, Leading to Ethics Questions

Jared Kushner and Ivanka, Youtube
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Kushner Cos., the real estate firm owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has received an $800-million loan from Warren Buffett’s Berskshire Hathaway in federally backed debt to buy about 6,000 apartment rental units in the Maryland-DC area. A spokesman said that Kushner is walled off from any business or investment decisions and has no idea or knowledge of these activities. [An $800-million deal and his financial managers never mentioned it to him? If you believe that, I have a bridge I want to sell you.] -GEG

Kushner Cos., the real estate firm owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has received about $800 million in federally backed debt to buy apartments in Maryland and Virginia — the company’s biggest purchase in a decade.

The loan was issued by Berkadia, a lender co-owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc., in a deal that’s backed by government-owned Freddie Mac, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing the private transaction.

The arrangement increases the government’s exposure to Kushner Cos. at the same time that its former chief executive officer is one of the most powerful people in the White House. Jared Kushner divested ownership in many of the company’s assets to close family members when he joined the government. Kushner Cos. had more than $500 million in loans from Fannie and Freddie at that time.

Spokespeople for Kushner Cos., Berkadia and Freddie Mac didn’t respond to requests for comment. Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Jared Kushner’s attorney Abbe Lowell, has frequently said that Kushner has no involvement in the company’s management.

“As part of an ethics agreement he has and has followed, Mr. Kushner has had no role in the Kushner Companies or its activities since joining the government over two years ago,” Mirijanian said in a February email when Bloomberg first reported on the government’s potential involvement. “He is walled off from any business or investment decisions and has no idea or knowledge of these activities.”

Bloomberg reported in February that Kushner was purchasing 6,030 apartments across 16 properties in the two states from private equity firm Lone Star Funds in a $1.15 billion deal. The Real Deal reported earlier Thursday on the closing of the transaction.

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