Saturday, May 06, 2017

Trump Family Grifters-- No Apples Fall Far From The Orange


Back in 2014, Peter Elkins and Marty Jones, presaged many a scandal with a piece in Fortune, The dark, disturbing world of the visa-for-sale program. Scamming money out of this one was once the domain of two bit GOP governors; now it's front and center in the White House. Welcome to Trumpland-- Home of The Grifters. The EB-5 visa program is described as "one of the least explored of the many dark corners in America’s deeply troubled immigration process. Scientists and engineers highly coveted by technology companies may be getting thrown out of the country but rich businessmen-- overwhelmingly criminal businessmen-- who understand how to spread around the bribes... welcome, स्वागत हे, welcome, 歡迎, welcome, أهلا بك, welcome, добро пожаловать, welcome...
Increasingly, the skilled and the poor are out of luck. But the rich are another matter. The program (EB-5 is short-hand for the government’s fifth employment-based visa “preference”) allows well-heeled foreigners to leap to the front of the line by simply plunking down $500,000.

From the law’s inception in 1990, selling potential citizenship to the rich struck many as a corruption of American ideals. “Have we no self-respect as a nation?” asked Texas congressman John Bryant on the House floor that year. “Are we so broke we have to sell our birthright?”

But that powerful objection was overcome with an even more potent counterforce: The program would generate jobs where they’re needed most. Immigrants seeking EB-5 visas must invest their half-a-million dollars in a new business that creates 10 full-time U.S. jobs in a high-unemployment or rural district. (Technically, one can obtain an EB-5 visa for $1 million with no requirement that the jobs benefit a struggling area; in reality, few apply under that provision.)

...[B]ecause the EB-5 industry is virtually unregulated, it has become a magnet for amateurs, pipe-dreamers, and charlatans, who see it as an easy way to score funding for ventures that banks would never touch. They’ve been encouraged and enabled by an array of dodgy middlemen, eager to cash in on the gold rush. Meanwhile, perhaps because wealthy foreigners are the main potential victims, U.S. authorities have seemed inattentive to abuses.
And that brings us to the First Family of Grifters-- Trumpanzee's machatunim: Kushner-in-law and all his vile, insect-like, familial New Jersey garbage. These week they were hawking visas in Beijing.

Slide shown during Kushner event in Beijing identifying the father-in-law as the "key decision maker" on EB-5 investor visa program

The Kushner family came to the United States as refugees, worked hard and made it big-- and if you invest in Kushner properties, so can you.

That was the message delivered Saturday by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s sister to a ballroom full of wealthy Chinese investors, renewing questions about the Kushner family’s business ties to China.

Over several hours of slide shows and presentations, representatives from the Kushner family business urged Chinese citizens gathered at the Ritz-Carlton hotel to consider investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a New Jersey real estate project to secure what’s known as an investor visa.

The EB-5 immigrant investor visa program, which allows foreign investors to invest in U.S. projects that create jobs and then apply to immigrate, has been used by both the Trump and Kushner family businesses.

But President Trump’s vow to crack down on immigration, as well as criticism from members of Congress, has led to questions about the future of a program known here as the “ golden visa.”

The EB-5 has been extremely popular among rich Chinese who are eager to get their families-- and their wealth-- out of the country, though the fact that some move their money out illegally has made the program unpopular with the Chinese government, too.

In the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton on Saturday, Chinese investors were advised to invest sooner rather than later in case the rules change. “Invest early and you will invest under the old rules,” one speaker said.

The woman identified as “Jared’s sister” was believed to be Nicole Kushner, who is involved in the family business, not Dara Kushner, who generally stays out of the spotlight. But the woman’s face was not clearly visible from the back of the ballroom, where reporters were told to remain.

Saturday’s event in Beijing was hosted by the Chinese company Qiaowai, which connects U.S. companies with Chinese investors. The tagline on a brochure for the event: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”

Qiaowai is working with Kushner to secure funding for Kushner 1, a real estate project in New Jersey. Promotional materials tout the buildings’ proximity to Manhattan and note that the project will create more than 6,000 jobs.

“This project has stable funding, creates sufficient jobs and guarantees the safety of investors’ money,” one description reads.

Although there was no visible reference to Trump, the materials noted the Kushner family’s “celebrity” status. Wang Yun, a Chinese investor who attended the event, said the Kushner family’s ties to Trump, via son-in-law Jared, were a part of the project’s appeal-- but also a source of concern.

“Even though this is the project of the son-in-law’s family, of course it is still affiliated,” Wang.

Wang reasoned that the link to Trump would be a boon if the presidency goes well but could be disastrous if it does not: “We heard that there are rumors that he is the most likely to be impeached president in American history. That’s why I doubt this project.”

Many of the people who attended the event declined to be interviewed, citing privacy concerns, or they were blocked by organizers from speaking to the news media.

Indeed, though the event was publicly advertised in Beijing, the hosts were exceptionally anxious about the presence of reporters.

Journalists were initially seated at the back of the ballroom, but as the presentations got underway, a public relations representative asked The Post to leave, saying the presence of foreign reporters threatened the “stability” of the event.

At one point, organizers grabbed a reporter’s phone and backpack to try to force that person to leave. Later, as investors started leaving the ballroom, organizers physically surrounded attendees to stop them from giving interviews.

Asked why reporters were asked to leave, a public relations representative, who declined to identify herself, said simply, “This is not the story we want.”

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At 2:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob the country blind, make special deals irregardless of any laws, hide your tax returns, keep all your businesses. As nothing means more to Trump than his family: They'll get rich, they'll get charged & then he pardons them. Who can argue with family values?

At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinda like protect the bankers from prosecution, keep wars hot, pass health insurance laws that subsidize with taxes, forbid bulk pricing on drugs... and then cash in with speaking fees after leaving office??

Well, at least waiting until leaving office makes the Ds a little lesser evil, don't it?

At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about this is surprising?

cheney/bush/rumsfeld started wars partly in order to become war profiteers. The Clintons entered politics partly in order to cash in after. The CEO caste has risen partly in order to run their concerns like personal mints (or have we forgotten already about Enron, global crossing et al?).

So now we have another grifter family minting money WHILE in office, BY BEING in office?

American voters have welcomed such open corruption without interruption since 1980 at least. No election has been about doing one single thing to reverse it. Bernie tried but was defrauded by the lesser evil party... and voters didn't give a flying fuck.

Either it's worth changing... or get the fuck over it.


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