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Saudi funded company partly owned by Trump, Kushner

June 11, 2019 at 1:22 am

Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner speaks during the Time 100 Summit event 23 April, 2019 in New York [DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images]

Cadre, a real estate company partly owned by Donald Trump and his adviser Jared Kushner, has received ambiguous foreign funding of $90 million since Kushner’s appointment as Trump’s adviser, reported the Guardian.

According to the newspaper, the funds flowed from Saudi Arabia and other investors through a branch attached to Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands,  a tax haven known for prioritising corporate secrecy.

Kushner had retained a stake in the company after joining the White House, with an estimated value of about $ 50 million, according to Kushner’s financial disclosure documents.

The Guardian believed that this external funding could lead to conflicts of interest for Kushner due to the position he holds in the US administration, according to some ethics experts, who raised concerns about the lack of transparency regarding the investments.

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Jessica Tillipman, a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School, who teaches government’s anticorruption ethics stated that the Saudi investments in Cadre “will cause people to wonder whether these funds have an impact on the nature of Kushner’s work.”

Kushner resigned from the Cadre’s Board of Directors and reduced his ownership stake to less than 25 per cent after joining the White House, his lawyers declared.

The company was not included in the first ethics disclosure presented by Kushner, indicating later that this was not deliberate but rather was an unintentional omission, while stressing that he is not taking part in any activity related to the company anymore.

According to the Guardian, “the identities of foreign investors who hold shares in Cadre are confidential”. On the other hand, two sources familiar with the company conveyed that “most of the cash flow came to the Cayman Islands from another offshore tax haven, while some came from Saudi Arabia.”

The White House and Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s lawyer, did not respond to questions about the foreign investors and Kushner’s share in Cadre.

A spokesman of the company refused to comment on the issue, while Goldman Sachs spokesman Patrick Scanlan said: “Cadre cannot get any information about Goldman Sachs’ customers who invested in the company.”