May 16, 1954 |
Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S.
|Alma mater||New York University (B.A.)
Maurice A. Deane School of Law (J.D.)
New York University Stern School of Business (M.B.A.)
|Occupation||Co-owner of Kushner Properties|
|Spouse(s)||Seryl (Stadtmauer) Kushner|
Murray Kushner (brother)Esther Schulder (sister)
Charles Kushner (born May 16, 1954) is an American real estate developer and convicted felon. He founded Kushner Companies in 1985. In 2005, he was convicted of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering, and served time in federal prison. After his release he resumed his career in real estate. He is the father of Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka Trump, and thus son-in-law of and senior advisor to the incumbent President of the United States Donald Trump.
Early life and education
Kushner was born on May 16, 1954 to Joseph and Rae Kushner. He grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey with his elder brother Murray Kushner. His parents were Holocaust survivors who came to America from Belarus in 1949. Kushner's father worked as a construction worker, builder and real estate investor. Kushner graduated from the School of Law of Hofstra University in 1979.
In 1985, he began managing his father's portfolio of 4,000 New Jersey apartments. He founded Kushner Companies—headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey—and became its chairman. In 1999, he won the Ernst & Young New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year award. At the time, Kushner Companies had grown to over 10,000 residential apartments, a homebuilding business, commercial and industrial properties and a community bank.
In the summer of 2004, Kushner was fined $508,900 by the Federal Election Commission for contributing to political campaigns in the names of his partnerships when he lacked authorization to do so. 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 Kushner, under which Kushner pleaded guilty to 18 counts of making illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering. The witness-tampering charge arose from Kushner's act of retaliation against William Schulder, husband of his sister Esther, who was cooperating with federal investigators; Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, arranged for an encounter between the two to be secretly recorded, and had the tape sent to his sister. Kushner was sentenced to two years in prison and served 14 months at Federal Prison Camp, Montgomery in Alabama before being sent to a halfway house in Newark, New Jersey to complete his sentence. He was released from prison on August 25, 2006.
New York City real estate
After his release 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 US$1.8 billion.
Before 2016, Kushner was a donor to the Democratic Party. He serves on the boards of Touro College, Stern College for Women, Rabbinical College of America and the United Jewish Communities. Kushner has donated to Harvard University, Stern College, the St. Barnabas Medical Center and United Cerebral Palsy. He contributed to the funding of two schools, Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, in Livingston, New Jersey and named them after his parents.
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. Kushner and his wife also hosted a reception for Trump at their Jersey Shore seaside mansion in Long Branch.
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- In re Kushner, 870 A.2d 248, 183 N.J. 130 (2005).
- In re Kushner, 18 A.D.3d 953, 793 N.Y.S.2d 781 (2005) (per curiam).
- "Public Discipline" (PDF). Pennsylvania Bar Association. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
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- Katy O'Donnell, Trump attended big-donor fundraiser last month, Politico (August 23, 2015).
- Maggie Haberman, Donald Trump Pays a Visit to His Not-So-Poor Relations, New York Times (August 23, 2016).