From a NYT article on “Bribe Cases, a Jared Kushner Partner and Potential Conflicts”:
It was the summer of 2012, and Jared Kushner was headed downtown.
His family’s real estate firm, the Kushner Companies, would spend about $190 million over the next few months on dozens of apartment buildings in tony Lower Manhattan neighborhoods including the East Village, the West Village and SoHo.
For much of the roughly $50 million in down payments, Mr. Kushner turned to an undisclosed overseas partner. Public records and shell companies shield the investor’s identity. But, it turns out, the money came from a member of Israel’s Steinmetz family, which built a fortune as one of the world’s leading diamond traders.
A Kushner Companies spokeswoman and several Steinmetz representatives say Raz Steinmetz, 53, was behind the deals. His uncle, and the family’s most prominent figure, is the billionaire Beny Steinmetz, who is under scrutiny by law enforcement authorities in four countries. In the United States, federal prosecutors are investigating whether representatives of his firm bribed government officials in Guinea to secure a multibillion dollar mining concession. In Israel, Mr. Steinmetz was detained in December and questioned in a bribery and money laundering investigation. In Switzerland and Guinea, prosecutors have conducted similar inquiries…
Although Mr. Kushner resigned in January from his chief executive role at Kushner Companies, he remains the beneficiary of trusts that own the sprawling real estate business. The firm has taken part in roughly $7 billion in acquisitions over the last decade, many of them backed by foreign partners whose identities he will not reveal. Last month, his company announced that it had ended talks with the Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese financial firm linked to leading members of the ruling Communist Party. The potential agreement, first disclosed by The New York Times, had raised questions because of its favorable terms for the Kushners.
The article goes into more detail on real estate connections I don’t really care about, with one Beny Steinmetz a central figure:
Until a few months ago, when he was arrested in Israel, Beny Steinmetz, 61, was a globe-trotting billionaire. One of the country’s richest men, he split his time between France, Geneva, Antwerp and his enormous house outside Tel Aviv, on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean.
He teamed up with his brother Daniel, now 79, to create the Steinmetz Diamond Group in the 1990s. The business, which sells under the brand Diacore, has become one of the world’s biggest buyers of diamonds from De Beers. In April, a 59.6 carat pink diamond cut by Diacore was sold by Sotheby’s for $71.2 million, an auction record for a gem.
Beny Steinmetz expanded his business interests into steel, gold, nickel, oil and iron ore, and built a global real estate empire, with properties in cities including London, New York and St. Petersburg. Two decades ago, he made a move into Russia, becoming an early investor in newly privatized state enterprises as a co-founder of the hedge fund Hermitage Capital.
Mr. Steinmetz rarely grants interviews and often incorporates his multiple companies in tax havens like Guernsey, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands that offer secrecy. Although he is the public face of his firms, he holds no executive position. Instead, they are typically owned by a Liechtenstein foundation — similar to a trust in the United States — that names him and his wife as beneficiaries. Officially, he is an “adviser” to his firms.
Then we have more paragraphs with another dizzying array of Jewish names:
In 2012, Jared Kushner’s company went on a buying spree, snapping up about 11,000 apartments around the country, roughly doubling its inventory. The firm, founded by his father, Charles, also made its first Steinmetz deal that summer.
The younger Mr. Kushner has traveled repeatedly to Israel, where he has gotten funding to fulfill his ambitions. Kushner Companies has taken out at least four loans from Israel’s largest bank, Bank Hapoalim. It joined with Harel, one of Israel’s largest insurance companies, on one deal. Mr. Kushner’s firm was introduced to the Raz Steinmetz team “by a third-party broker in the United States,” said Kenneth Henderson, a New York attorney for Raz Steinmetz.
In August of 2012, the Kushner business made a significant move into downtown Manhattan’s residential market, spending about $60 million on eight apartment buildings in the East Village and the West Village. The low-rise buildings are undistinguished but offer steady income streams.
The deal was arranged by Gaia Investments Corporation, headquartered outside of Tel Aviv. No Steinmetz names appear in Gaia’s public filings. Instead, the shareholders and officers include some Steinmetz lieutenants. One of them, Shlomo Meichor, was a former vice president for finance at an investment firm once run by Raz and Daniel Steinmetz, and is a director for at least three Gaia Delaware entities created for the Kushner deals, records show. (Gaia is an ancient Greek word for earth goddess.)
In the world of NYC real estate, how in the hell was a Scots-German by the name of Trump allowed into the game?