The Kushner family, owners of American real estate conglomerate Kushner Companies, is at the centre of a colourful lawsuit brought by a former employee.
According to a complaint filed at a court in New Jersey, fired president of Kushner subsidiary Westminster Capital Associates, Kevin Swill, believes he is owed in excess of $6 million in commissions.
Swill is seeking damages, breach of contract and malicious and wrongful termination against patriarch Charles Kushner, his son Jared, the family’s New York Observer newspaper and Westminster.
Swill claims Westminster wrongfully sent $18 million in commissions from one particular sale to various recipients including trust funds for Charles’ children, family loans, and a personal mortgage.
However, the Kushner family denies all wrongdoing. “He was a disgruntled employee who was fired for cause,” Jared told Bloomberg.
“We’ll litigate and prove all his claims were absolutely false. Because we refused to settle, he’s thrown in a lot of claims that have no relevancy to his baseless claim, just to get media attention.”
Jared is the publisher of the New York Observer, to which Swill claims $5 million in commission was paid. The newspaper is owned by a trust fund belonging to Jared and his siblings.
Charles Kushner built his estimated $1 billion real estate investment empire from his father’s small construction business.
However, he was forced to resign as the firm’s chairman in 2004 after pleading guilty to tax fraud, campaign contribution charges, and witness tampering.
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