Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh has opened an investigation into Westminster Management — a division of Kushner Companies, the business owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The Hill said on Sunday night that Frosh is investigating Westminster — which operates 17 properties across the state of Maryland — for shady debt collection practices and “poor upkeep” inside the properties.
According to an exposé in The Baltimore Sun, Westminster used aggressive and potentially illegal practices to extract money from tenants, including civil arrests.
No other property management firm in the state has been as aggressive in its collection practices. Court records, the Sun said, show that 20 Kushner tenants were arrested and detained on debt collection charges.
“Critics say it amounts to jailing people for being poor — and can interfere with their livelihoods, making it more difficult to pay the money they allegedly owe,” wrote the Sun‘s Doug Donovan. “Moreover, at least some tenants who have been targeted say they did not receive proper notice of the court appearances they were accused of missing.”
The Kushner company — which owns and operates 9,000 rental units in Maryland — issued a statement that said, “We have been working with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office to provide information in response to its request. We are in compliance with all state and local laws.”
The company came under fire earlier this year when it was caught using Jared Kushner’s White House connection to attract Chinese investors and promising them U.S. visas in return.
Investors were told that by investing the Kushners’ real estate projects, they would have an ally in the White House and “invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”