Kush­ner fam­ily seen ex­ploit­ing White House ac­cess

New Straits Times - - Business -

BEI­JING: White House se­nior ad­viser Jared Kush­ner’s fam­ily busi­ness is court­ing wealthy Chi­nese to buy stakes in real es­tate through a con­tro­ver­sial govern­ment pro­gramme that of­fers United States res­i­dency in ex­change for in­vest­ment.

Jared’s sis­ter, Ni­cole Kush­ner Meyer, was here on Satur­day, seek­ing US$150 mil­lion (RM651 mil­lion) in in­vest­ment in a lux­ury apart­ment com­plex project in New Jer­sey, ac­cord­ing to US me­dia re­ports.

Jared, 36, is a se­nior ad­viser to US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, with far-reach­ing in­flu­ence over do­mes­tic and for­eign poli­cies, and stepped down from the fam­ily com­pany in Jan­uary to serve in the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

How­ever, eye­brows have been raised as the Chi­nese in­vest­ment sought by his fam­ily is to be fun­nelled through the US EB-5 visa pro­gramme.

The pro­gramme of­fers for­eign na­tion­als per­ma­nent res­i­dency — com­monly known as a green card – in ex­change for investments of at least half a mil­lion dol­lars in a US busi­ness that must also cre­ate 10 Amer­i­can jobs.

The New York Times re­ported that the fam­ily busi­ness’ in­vest­ment drive was also “high­light­ing their ties to (Jared) Kush­ner as they court in­vestors”.

Speak­ing be­fore more than 100 in­vestors, here,Ni­cole said the project “means a lot to me and my en­tire fam­ily”

Nearly 90 per cent of EB-5 visas were is­sued to Chi­nese na­tion­als in 2014, when the pro­gramme reached its quota of 10,000 visas. De­trac­tors say the pro­gramme puts cit­i­zen­ship up for sale.

Last week, fed­eral agents in Cal­i­for­nia raided two homes and a busi­ness al­legedly con­nected to a US$50 mil­lion visa fraud scheme that ben­e­fited up to 100 Chi­nese na­tion­als.

Au­thor­i­ties said the key sus­pects in the case helped wealthy Chi­nese ob­tain US res­i­dency visas in ex­change for bo­gus investments. AFP

Jared Kush­ner

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