Kushner Companies apologizes for name dropping Jared during China investors pitch

A projector screen shows a footage of U.S. President Donald Trump as workers wait for investors at a reception desk during an event promoting EB-5 investment in a Kushner Companies development at a hotel in Shanghai China Sunday

A projector screen shows a footage of U.S. President Donald Trump as workers wait for investors at a reception desk during an event promoting EB-5 investment in a Kushner Companies development at a hotel in Shanghai China Sunday

Presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is facing more allegations of corruption after reporters attended a event in Beijing put on by his family's company aimed at persuading rich Chinese to invest a total of $150 million into their latest real estate venture by offering visas to America.

The New York Times and The Washington Post reported over the weekend that Kushner's sister, Nicole Meyer, touted access to her brother and support from Trump during a presentation in Beijing while seeing investors for a luxury apartment building in New Jersey being built by Kushner Properties.

Kushner Companies said Monday that the name drop at the event in Beijing on Saturday was not meant to be an "attempt to lure investors" to one of its projects in New Jersey. "That was not Ms Meyer's intention".

Meyer was looking for investors under the U.S. EB-5 visa program, which gives wealthy foreign investors permanent American residency if they invest at least a half million dollars in a U.S. business that creates 10 jobs.

But Larry Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, says, "The strong feeling is that they - the Trump family, the Kushner family - see the White House and being in the government as a marketing opportunity".

The Beijing pitch event for One Journal Square was hosted by a Chinese firm called Qiaowai, which is working with Kushner Companies to secure funding for the project.

Kushner Companies later distanced itself from the photo.

Potential investor Xing said a Kushner representative who spoke on Sunday stressed that EB-5 rules could change after September to raise the minimum required investment.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary immigration subcommittee, said in an interview Sunday that it was "pretty sketchy" for Meyer to make her sales pitch given that the program's continued existence is in doubt, and the backlog of applications from Chinese investors may add five years to the process.

Organisers yesterday barred journalists from a publicity event in Shanghai for a two-tower luxury apartment complex in New Jersey.

Jared Kushner's father-in-law, Donald Trump, popped up once during the presentation, described as a "key decision maker" about the future of the EB-5 program.

On Friday, President Donald Trump extended the controversial EB-5 program that allows visas to be fast-tracked in exchange for investment in USA properties.

A White House spokesman said the administration would work with Congress to evaluate "wholesale reform" of the program, which might include "raising the price of the visa".

Created in 1990 as a way to encourage investment during a recession, the program requires foreigners to invest $1 million in a business that sustainably employs 10 people anywhere or $500,000 in rural areas or those with high unemployment. The visa program is so popular with China's wealthy elites that it's commonly referred to as the "golden visa". "Mr. Kushner has no involvement in the operation of Kushner Companies and divested his interests in the One Journal Square project", he said in a statement.

Though the program is not often in the spotlight, it has always been targeted on Capitol Hill for reform - and the Department of Homeland Security is considering some changes to the program to set a higher bar for would-be investors.

But soaring Chinese demand in recent years has made the visas increasingly hard to obtain.

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