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Kushner apartment company violated consumer laws in Maryland, judge rules

Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Home and Consumer News

The apartment company of Jared Kushner violated Maryland’s consumer protection laws numerous times at Baltimore-area properties by collecting debts without the required licenses, charging tenants improper fees, and misrepresenting the condition of rental units, a judge has ruled.

In a 252-page decision issued Thursday, Administrative Law Judge Emily Daneker found that violations by Westminster Management and the company JK2 were “widespread and numerous.”

Kushner — the son-in-law of former president Donald J. Trump — and his brother Joshua each held 50% interest in JK2, according to the legal filing. Westminster is the successor to that company.

Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, in 2019 sued Westminster and the 25 companies that owned apartment communities that it managed, alleging they took advantage of financially vulnerable consumers in Maryland.

While finding many violations of consumer protection laws, Daneker did not agree with all of the allegations of the attorney general’s office’s Consumer Protection Division.

She found the division did not establish that the companies violated the law by misrepresenting their ability to provide maintenance services. She also said they were not committing some violations during the entire period alleged by the division.

 

The Kushner Cos. characterized the decision as vindicating Westminster, which it owns.

“Kushner respects the thoughtful depth of the Judge’s decision, which vindicates Westminster with respect to many of the Attorney General’s overreaching allegations,” the Kushner Cos’. general counsel, Christopher W. Smith, said in a statement to The Baltimore Sun.

Westminster has repeatedly alleged that Frosh’s case was politically motivated.

In her ruling, Daneker found no evidence of that.

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