Even a Maryland judge ruled an apartment firm co-owned by former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner violated consumer protection laws by charging inappropriate fees to tenants, engaging in debt collection without the required permits, and misstating the condition of its apartments, The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday afternoon.
Jared and his brother Joshua Kushner every own a 50-percent stake in JK2, each legal filings obtained by The Sun.
The situation stems from a suit filed in 2019 by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. Frosh opened an investigation into the company and its partners after renters filed a lawsuit if that they were charged inappropriate charges and ProPublica and The Baltimore Sun reported on rental clinics that experts said were criminal.
While the Kushners had repeatedly contended that the litigation brought by Frosh, a Democrat, was motivated by political animus,” Judge Daneker said there was no evidence to corroborate that claim.
“The evidence does not establish differential therapy or selective enforcement according to any sexually motivated basis, instead of motivation to protect Maryland consumers,” she composed, according to the report.
In reality, The Sun noted that Daneker”found Westminster charged illegal fees thousands of times” by forcing software to cover as much as twice the legal limitation to process their software and charging for non fees.
“Maryland law only permits taxpayers to charge around $25 to process an application. However, the possessions in the event charged between $35 to $50 to 15,289 consumers, according to Daneker’s decision,” the report said. “Westminster and JK2 additionally billed tenants $12’agent fees’ associated with court filings, for prices the firms had not actually incurred. The firms did so more than 28,000 times, with the wrongly charged broker fees in more than $332,000.”
The firms also billed tenants at two Baltimore apartment complexes $80 to get”pass-through fees” which were presumed to be set towards court costs”even though the amount incurred was only $50.”
“This occurred a total of 2,642 times over the course of more than two decades,” Daneker composed. “These circumstances don’t support a finding that this was the result of isolated or inadvertent mistakes.”
However, Judge Daneker did not conclude that each the allegations against the firms had merit, discovering that Frosh”failed to establish that the firms violated the law by misrepresenting their capacity to provide maintenance services” and also had did not engage in some of criminal conduct throughout the entire period originally declared.
The Kushner Cos. entire adviser, Christopher W. Smith, told The Sun the ruling really bolstered its assertion which Frosh’s allegations were baseless.
“Kushner respects the thoughtful thickness of the Judge’s decision, which vindicates Westminster with regard to a lot of the Attorney General’s overreaching allegations,” Smith said in an announcement.