BALTIMORE (AP) – A judge in Maryland has ruled that a housing association owned by former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has repeatedly violated state consumer protection laws by collecting debts without required licenses and paying unreasonable fees to tenants and has charged fees. Incorrect presentation of the condition of the rental units.
Administrative judge Emily Daneker said in her 252-page ruling Thursday that violations by Westminster management and the JK2 company were “widespread and numerous,” Baltimore Sun reports.
Kushner and his brother Joshua each owned 50% of JK2. Westminster is the company’s successor.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, sued Westminster and 25 affiliates in 2019, alleging they took advantage of financially vulnerable consumers in the Baltimore area.
The judge ruled that tenants were often misled about housing conditions and were only allowed to see their actual apartments after they moved in.
Daneker found that Westminster had illegally charged thousands of times over the past two years, including falsely falsely exceeding $ 332,000 in brokerage fees.
“These circumstances do not support the finding that this was the result of isolated or accidental errors,” the judge wrote.
The judge also concluded that Frosh’s office has not demonstrated that the companies have illegally misrepresented their ability to provide maintenance services and have not violated consumer protection laws during the entire period alleged by the Attorney General.
The Kushner Cos., Owned by Westminster, described the judge’s decision as a victory for the company.
“Kushner respects the thoughtful depth of the judge’s decision, which Westminster uphelds in relation to many of the attorney general’s exaggerated allegations,” said Christopher W. Smith, general counsel of Kushner Cos., In a statement.
Westminster has repeatedly alleged that Frosh’s case was politically motivated, but the judge said the evidence did not support that claim.
Frosh’s office declined to comment on the ruling, referring to the ongoing litigation.
Both sides have 30 days to submit responses to the judge’s decision.
Most of the properties involved in the case are in Baltimore County, but some are in Baltimore City and Prince George’s Counties.