Charles Kushner is an American real estate magnate and philanthropist. He is the owner of the real estate business Kushner Companies, which he founded in 1985. From 2005 to 2006, he served time in prison for witness tampering, tax evasion, and illegal campaign donations.
Charles Kushner was born on May 16, 1954, in the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey. His parents were Jews who survived the Holocaust, left the Soviet Union and escaped to the United States. His mother’s name was Rae Kushner. She was from Navahrudak, a city in present-day Belarus. She and her brother dug a tunnel from the Jewish ghetto and helped over 350 people escape the Nazis. His father’s name was Joseph Berkowitz. He was also from the city of Navahrudak.
When he married Rae Kushner, he took her last name because she had a higher social status than him. The couple escaped to the United States in 1949. Joseph Kushner started as a construction worker and worked his way up to a real estate magnate. He owned more than four thousand houses, apartments, and properties. Kushner has two elder sisters, named Esther Schulder and Linda Kushner, and an elder brother named Murray Kushner. He earned a law degree from the Hofstra University School of Law on Long Island. He also earned an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
For a long time, Kushner worked for his father’s real estate business. When he passed away in 1985, he inherited all of his properties. They included more than four thousand houses and apartments. Soon after that, he formed his company, called Kushner Companies. The headquarters of the company was located in the borough of Florham Park, New Jersey. Over the next 15 years, the company owned more than ten thousand apartments and houses. It also featured a community bank, a homebuilding business, industrial properties, and commercial properties. In 1999, the British company Ernst & Young gave him the New Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In 2004, the Federal Election Commission investigated Kushner. They found out that he had been giving donations to Democratic candidates in the names of his partnerships without previously informing those partners. The commission fined him with half a million dollars. After that, U. S. Attorney Chris Christie of the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey began to investigate him. He found out that Kushner had made illegal campaign contributions and evaded taxes. He also found out that he had hired a prostitute to seduce his sister’s husband, William Schulder, taped the encounter and sent the tape to his sister.
Kushner admitted that he did that to punish Schulder for cooperating with the authorities and made a public apology to his sister. He decided to negotiate a plea agreement with Chris Christie for a reduced sentence. He pleaded guilty to almost 20 counts of tax evasion, illegal campaign donations, and witness tampering, and was sentenced to two years in jail. He spent the first 14 months at the Montgomery Federal Prison Camp in Alabama and the next 10 months in a halfway house in New Jersey.
Because of his convictions, Kushner was banned from practicing law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. After leaving prison, he moved his business to New York City. In 2007, Kushner bought 666 Fifth Avenue, a 41-story office building. The sale cost 1.8 billion dollars, making it the most expensive deal in New York City history. Later that year, he sold over 15 thousand apartments in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware.
In 2013, bought a large apartment complex in Brooklyn. He built Trump Bay Street, a luxury apartment tower in Jersey City. He partnered up with Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz on a large building in Manhattan. He owns the historic Puck Building and The New York Times Building, as well as about 60 other buildings in New York City.
According to the media company Bloomberg, Kushner Companies has been losing money over the last few years. In 2016, Kushner’s daughter Nicole had a series of meetings with Chinese investors. She promised them an American visa if they invested in Kushner Companies and mentioned her brother’s relationship with Donald Trump.
This caused a scandal in the American media and she had to make a public apology. In 2017, the U. S. District Court of New York subpoenaed some of the company’s bank records. The company has taken out multiple loans from Bank Hapoalim, one of the largest banks in Israel. It is currently in dispute with Jersey City, trying to get the city to pay money to cover their legal expenses.
In 2019, several employees at Deutsche Bank noticed suspicious activity with Kushner Companies’ finances. They suspected money laundering and reported it to their executives, but they refused to act on the claims. One of the employees revealed for The New York Times that the company had moved money to Russian businessmen.
Kushner funded two Modern Orthodox Jewish schools in the town of Livingston, New Jersey. He named them the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School and the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, after his parents. He and his wife donated 20 million dollars to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Because of that, the campus of the hospital was named the ‘Seryl and Charles Kushner Campus’.
He has donated to the United Cerebral Palsy organization, the Stern College for Women, Harvard University, and the St Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey. He is on the Board of Directors of the United Jewish Communities organization, the Rabbinical College of America, Touro College, and the Stern College for Women. At Hofstra University, he established Kushner Hall and the Kushner Distinguished Professorship of Civil Liberties.
In the past, he donated funds to the campaigns of many political candidates from the Democratic Party. In 2015, he made a large donation to Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again Political Action Committee and supported his presidential campaign.
Charles Kushner is married to Seryl Stadtmauer Kushner. His elder son, Jared Kushner, is the advisor and son-in-law of President Donald Trump. His daughter-in-law is Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump. His younger son, Joshua Kushner, owns Thrive Capital, a private equity firm.
His daughter, Nicole Kushner Meyer, is involved in the family business. His other daughter, Dara Kushner, is involved in many charities. He has three grandchildren – Arabella Rose Kushner, Joseph Frederick Kushner, and Theodore James Kushner. His nephew, Marc Kushner, is an architect and entrepreneur.
What is Charles Kushner's net worth?
Charles Kushner has a net worth of about $ 1.8 billion.