Charles Kushner

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Charles Kushner
Born
Chanan Kushner

(1954-05-16) May 16, 1954 (age 67)
EducationNew York University (BA)
Hofstra University (JD)
New York University (MBA)
OccupationCo-owner of Kushner Properties
Spouse(s)Seryl Stadtmauer
Children4, including Jared and Joshua
Parents
RelativesMurray Kushner (brother)
Marc Kushner (nephew)

Charles Kushner (born May 16, 1954) is an American real estate developer, former federal inmate and disbarred former attorney.[2][3][4][5] He founded Kushner Companies in 1985.

In 2005, he was convicted of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering and was sentenced to two years imprisonment, which he served in the Federal Prison Camp, Montgomery. As a convicted felon he was also disbarred in three states. He later received a federal pardon issued by President Donald Trump on December 23, 2020.[6][7]

His son Jared Kushner is the husband of Ivanka Trump and son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, during whose presidential administration served as senior advisor from 2017 to 2021. He has 3 other children including Joshua Kushner and he is the father-in-law of Karlie Kloss.

Early life[edit]

Charles Kushner was born on May 16, 1954,[8] to Joseph Berkowitz and Rae Kushner, Jewish Holocaust survivors born in eastern Poland who came to America from the USSR in 1949.[9][10] At birth, he was named Chanan, after a maternal uncle who died in a concentration camp during the Holocaust.[1] He grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, with his elder brother Murray Kushner[8][11] and sister Esther Schulder.[12][13][14]:3 His father worked as a construction worker, builder, and real estate investor.[8] Kushner graduated from the Hofstra University School of Law in 1979.[15]

Career[edit]

Kushner Companies[edit]

In 1985, he began managing his father's portfolio of 4,000 New Jersey apartments.[8][11] He founded Kushner Companies – headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey – and became its chairman.[8][11] In 1999, he won the Ernst & Young New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year award. At the time, Kushner Companies had grown to more than 10,000 residential apartments, a homebuilding business, commercial and industrial properties, and a community bank.[16]

Criminal conviction[edit]

On June 30, 2004, Kushner was fined $508,900 by the Federal Election Commission for contributing to Democratic political campaigns in the names of his partnerships when he lacked authorization to do so.[17] In 2005, following an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie negotiated a plea agreement with him, under which he pleaded guilty to 18 counts of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering.[18][19][20] The witness-tampering charge arose from Kushner's act of retaliation against William Schulder, his sister Esther's husband, who was cooperating with federal investigators against Kushner. Kushner hired a prostitute he knew to seduce his brother-in-law, arranged to record a sexual encounter between the two, and had the tape sent to his sister.[19][18][21][22] He was sentenced to two years in prison.[18] He served 14 months at Federal Prison Camp, Montgomery in Alabama[23][24] before being sent to a halfway house in Newark, New Jersey, to complete his sentence.[23][24][25] He was released from prison on August 25, 2006.[26]

As a convicted felon, he was also disbarred and prohibited from practicing law in New Jersey,[27] New York,[28] and Pennsylvania.[29]

In her book Too Much and Never Enough President Trump's niece Mary L. Trump wrote that Charles Kushner had given a speech in which he claimed that Ivanka Trump had only made herself worthy of inclusion in his family by committing to convert to Judaism, which Mary Trump found "a bit rich" given Kushner's own past as a convicted felon.[30]

Pardon by Donald Trump[edit]

Kushner received a federal pardon on December 23, 2020, by his son's father-in-law, Donald Trump,[31] citing his record of "reform" and "charity."[6][7]

The Star-Ledger called it an empty pardon that carried "no moral weight."[32]

New York City real estate[edit]

After being released from prison, Kushner shifted his business activities from New Jersey to New York City. In early 2007, Kushner Companies bought the 666 Fifth Avenue building in Manhattan for $1.8 billion.[33] In August 2018, Brookfield Properties signed a 99-year lease for the property, paying $1.286 billion and effectively taking full ownership of the building.[34][35][36]

As of the end of 2016, Kushner and his family were estimated to have a net worth of $1.8 billion.[1] He has employed two fellow inmates he became acquainted with in prison.[37]

Donations[edit]

Charles Kushner met personally with Harvard’s president and in 1998 donated $2.5 million to Harvard.[38] His son, Jared, was then beginning his senior year of high school where he was not a particularly good student with test scores below Ivy League standards.[39] Jared Kushner was admitted to the Harvard freshman class of 1999.[39]

Before 2016, Kushner was a donor to the Democratic Party.[20] He serves on the boards of Touro College, Stern College for Women, Rabbinical College of America, and the United Jewish Communities.[40] Kushner has made other donations to Harvard University, Stern College, and United Cerebral Palsy.[40] He donated to the Seryl and Charles Kushner Maternity Unit at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey. He contributed to the funding of two schools, Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, also in Livingston, and named them after his parents.[8][40][41] Kushner Hall is a building that is named after him on the Hofstra University campus.[42] The campus of Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center is named the "Seryl and Charles Kushner Campus" in honor of their donation of $20 million.[43]

In August 2015, Kushner donated $100,000 to Donald Trump's Make America Great Again PAC, a super PAC supporting Trump's 2016 campaign for the presidency.[44] Kushner and his wife also hosted a reception for Trump at their Jersey Shore seaside mansion in Long Branch.[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sorvino, Chloe (December 18, 2016). "Here's How Much Jared Kushner And His Family Are Really Worth". Forbes. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "Charles Kushner of Kushner Cos Gets Presidential Pardon". The Real Deal New York. December 24, 2020. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  3. ^ Condon, Bernard. "New York City councilman accuses Kushner family real estate company of putting tenants in danger". Business Insider. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  4. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (July 16, 2018). "Kushners Sought to Oust Rent-Regulated Tenants, Suit Says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  5. ^ "The Kushners' Freddie Mac Loan Wasn't Just Massive. It Came With Unusually Good Terms, Too". www.propublica.org. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding Executive Grants of Clemency". whitehouse.gov. December 23, 2020. Retrieved December 24, 2020 – via National Archives.
  7. ^ a b "Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Charles Kushner among those pardoned by Trump". ABC News. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Elkies, Lauren (November 2007). "Charles Kushner". The Real Deal. In: "The Closing" (profiles). Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  9. ^ Sherman, Gabriel (July 12, 2009). "The Legacy". New York. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Heyman, Marshall (May 15, 2014). "City Real-Estate Royalty Gives to Israeli Hospital". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c "Charles Kushner". City File. Gawker Media. 2010. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  12. ^ Mansnerus, Laura (August 19, 2004). "Major Donor Admits Hiring Prostitute to Smear Witness". The New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2017.(subscription required)
  13. ^ Widdicombe, Lizzie (August 22, 2016). "Ivanka and Jared's Power Play". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  14. ^ Sherman, Gabriel (July 12, 2009). "The Legacy". NYMag.com. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  15. ^ "Academic Chairs and Distinguished Professorships", section: "The Joseph Kushner Distinguished Professorship in Civil Liberties Law". 2016–2017 Undergraduate Bulletin, Hofstra University. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  16. ^ "1999 New Jersey Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year(R) Award Recipients Announced". Ernst & Young press release, June 17, 1999. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  17. ^ Associated Press (July 4, 2004). "Briefings: Politics: F.E.C. Fines Developer". New York Times. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c Smothers, Ronald (March 5, 2005). "Democratic Donor Receives Two-Year Prison Sentence". The New York Times. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
  19. ^ a b Hanley, Robert (January 13, 2005). "Donor Apologized to Sister for Seduction of Husband". The New York Times. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  20. ^ a b Sullivan, John (August 22, 2004). "Like an 'Abandoned Planet'". The New York Times. Retrieved December 26, 2020.
  21. ^ Grace, Francie (July 14, 2004). "NJ Scandal: Sex, Money &  Politics". CBS News. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  22. ^ John Cloud, So, Did You Get My Gift?. Time (July 18, 2004).
  23. ^ a b Sommer, Allison Kaplan (March 1, 2016). "Meet the Kushners: The Feuding Real Estate Dynasty That Links Donald Trump and Chris Christie". Haaretz. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
  24. ^ a b Lizzie Widdicombe, [Ivanka and Jared's Power Play: How the patrician couple came to have an outsized influence on a populist Presidential campaign], New Yorker (August 22, 2016).
  25. ^ New York Magazine: "The Legacy – his son Jared, the 28-year-old Observer owner, has to carry the ambition for the both of them" By Gabriel Sherman July 12, 2009
  26. ^ "Charles Kushner". Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator.
  27. ^ In re Kushner, 870 A.2d 248, 183 N.J. 130 (2005).
  28. ^ In the Matter of Kushner, 18 A.D.3d 953, 793 N.Y.S.2d 781 (2005) (per curiam).
  29. ^ "Public Discipline" (PDF). Pennsylvania Bar Association. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  30. ^ Reporter, Jewish News. "Jared Kushner's dad reportedly said Ivanka only good enough due to conversion". jewishnews.timesofisrael.com.
  31. ^ https://jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com/trump-pardons-jared-kushners-father/
  32. ^ Moran, Tom (December 29, 2020). "Charlie Kushner's empty pardon". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  33. ^ Bagli, Charles V. (December 7, 2006). "A Big Deal, Even in Manhattan: A Tower Goes for $1.8 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  34. ^ Bagli, Charles V.; Kelly, Kate (August 3, 2018). "Deal Gives Kushners Cash Infusion on 666 Fifth Avenue". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  35. ^ Plitt, Amy (August 6, 2018). "Kushner Companies finally makes a deal to offload its troubled Midtown tower". Curbed NY. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  36. ^ "Brookfield Acquires 99 Year Lease on NYC tower from Kushner Company". Bloomberg. Retrieved November 5, 2020.
  37. ^ "Kushner's Felon Father Back at Helm of New York Empire With Two Fellow Inmates". www.bloomberg.com.
  38. ^ Golden, Daniel (2006). The Price of Admission. New York Cy: Crown. ISBN 1400097967.
  39. ^ a b Tough, Paul (2019). The Years That Matter Most. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 164. ISBN 9780544944480.
  40. ^ a b c Dickter, Adam (July 23, 2004). "Kushner Fallout Unclear". The Jewish Week. Archived from the original on August 28, 2005. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  41. ^ "Mini Bio: Rae Kushner", Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  42. ^ "Hofstra Myths Debunked: Campus buildings named after criminals?". The Hofstra Chronicle. October 27, 2010. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  43. ^ "Shaare Zedek Medical Center campus to be named in honor of New York couple". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  44. ^ Katy O'Donnell, Trump attended big-donor fundraiser last month, Politico (August 23, 2015).
  45. ^ Maggie Haberman, Donald Trump Pays a Visit to His Not-So-Poor Relations, New York Times (August 23, 2016).

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