One of the few firms White House senior adviser Jared Kushner retained a stake in after joining the Trump administration has received $90 million in funding from secretive foreign investors since 2017, according to records reviewed by The Guardian.
Cadre, a real estate investment company founded by Kushner, his brother, and a mutual friend, received the money through a vehicle run by Goldman Sachs in the notorious Cayman Islands. Adding another layer of secrecy, some of the funding came through another opaque vehicle in the British Virgin Isles, The Guardian noted.
Though Kushner shed many of his holdings upon taking office, the president’s son-in-law retained a less-than 25 percent stake in Cadre, worth an estimated $25 to $50 million, according to his most recent financial disclosure form.
And although he has agreed to steer clear of administration policy affecting real estate and recused himself from “particular matters in the broker-dealer, real estate, and online financial services sectors to the extent they would have a direct and predictable effect on Cadre,” ethics experts fear the specter of impropriety still exists.
“The problem with Kushner – and with Trump – is that we have all these corporate entities, and often nobody knows who is invested in them and where those investors borrowed their money,” Richard Painter, former ethics lawyer in the Bush administration, told The Guardian. “We simply have no idea.”
Former White House attorney under Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Virginia Canter, also raised concerns over the issue.
“It was one of the only assets that Kushner retained and it continues to collect foreign investors without transparency,” she said. Canter is currently the chief ethics counsel at the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The Guardian also noted that Cadre, whose investment arm manages more than $522m in assets, has seen its real estate investment fund increase fivefold in value since Kushner joined the Trump administration in 2017.