Deutsche Bank has opened an internal investigation into a real estate transaction by President Donald Trump‘s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and the president’s personal banker, Rosemary Vrablic, The New York Times reported Sunday.
New York property records show that in 2013, Vrablic and two other Deutsche Bank employees purchased a Park Avenue apartment for about $1.5 million from Bergel 715 Associates.
The deed for that apartment, Unit 12A, was transferred the following year to a limited liability company registered to Vrablic’s home address, property records show. The year after that, it was sold for $1.85 million.
Kushner has ties to Bergel 715, disclosing in a personal finance report that he and his wife Ivanka Trump had received between $1 to $5 million from the group last year. The Times cited an anonymous source who confirmed Kushner had an ownership stake in the company when the 2013 deal occurred.
Christopher Smith, the general counsel at Kushner Companies, told the Times that Kushner does not oversee any apartment sales for Bergel 715.
“Kushner is not the managing partner of that entity and has no involvement with the sales of the apartments,” he said.
Trump and Kushner have been longtime clients of Vrablic, with her first meeting Trump in 2011.
“I introduced him to this woman Rosemary,” Kushner told the House Intelligence Committee in closed-door testimony in 2017. “She is one of the biggest private wealth bankers, probably in the world. Amazing banker, amazing woman. Very smart banker. And she banked my family for a long time.”
Vrablic soon took Trump on as a client, despite his history of bankruptcy and defaulting on loans, including one from their bank three years prior.
In 2012, Deutsche Bank loaned Trump about $175 million for his Doral golf resort in Miami and for his Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, the Times reported.
According to the Times, the bank continued to loan Trump’s family funds, including $170 million for the Trump International Hotel in Washington, in addition to providing a $15 million personal line of credit to Kushner and his parents – the largest line of credit to which he and his parents had access.
Trump boasted about his relationship with Deutsche Bank to the Times in 2016, falsely labeling Vrablic as the “head” of the bank and “the boss” in 2016.
Deutsche Bank was apparently unaware that Vrablic had made a business deal with a company part-owned by Kushner until they were contacted by the Times.
“The bank will closely examine the information that came to light on Friday and the fact pattern from 2013,” bank spokesperson Daniel Hunter said.
Generally, bank employees may not conduct personal business with clients due to potential conflicts of interest.
Although Kushner’s stake in Bergel 715 is unclear, the company has sold at least one apartment to his family’s real estate company. Additionally, the main owners of the company include George Gellert, a close friend of the Kushner family who has invested in numerous deals with their family company.