Kushner Companies subpoenaed over use of visa program to fund developments

WASHINGTON -- An empty lot in Jersey City, New Jersey is where the Kushner Companies plan to put two gleaming towers of rental apartments and retail space, a project called One Journal Square.

But prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn now want to know more about the project's financing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Attorney's office has subpoenaed the company for information on its use of a program that allows foreigners, residency to get green cards in exchange for investing $500,000 or more in projects that create at least 10 jobs. They're called EB-5 visas.

a8-werner-kushner-trouble-frame-134.jpg

The future site of One Journal Square in Jersey City, New Jersey, under development by the Kushner Companies

CBS News

The Kushner Companies used EB-5 funding for two projects in the same city, the second carrying the president's name: Trump Bay Street.

Emily Wolf, general counsel for Kushner Companies, told CBS News the program "is frequently used by many large developers to raise funds and help create jobs" and they "did nothing improper."

But in May, the company apologized after Jared Kushner's sister, Nicole Meyer, told potential Chinese investors that the Journal Square project was important to her entire family, and specifically mentioned her brother Jared, now a top aide to the president, raising questions of influence peddling.

And there are questions about a Florida company the Kushners used to recruit Chinese investors called the U.S. Immigration Fund.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is calling for a federal review of that company's arrangement with the Kushner Companies.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has his own concerns about the use of the visa program for the Trump Bay Street project.

"I think the goal of the EB-5 program is low-income investment in low-income areas. And I think that that obviously didn't serve that goal," Fulop said.

Jared Kushner's trust still maintains an interest in the Trump Bay Street project, but his lawyers point out he has divested himself of his interest in the One Journal Square project and says he will recuse himself from any matters concerning the EB-5 visa program.