HOME / PRESS OFFICE
|For Immediate Release
June 30, 2004
|REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER TO PAY $508,900 CIVIL PENALTY TO FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION|
WASHINGTON ? The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has entered into
conciliation agreements with Charles Kushner, a New Jersey-based real estate
developer, and 40 partnership entities he controls. The agreements settle an
investigation stemming from over $500,000 in contributions that the
partnerships made without obtaining the agreement of the individual partners
to whom the contributions were attributed. The contributions were made
between December 5, 1997 and August 17, 2000 for the 1999-2000 election
cycle. Recipients of these contributions included 13 candidate committees,
one party committee and one PAC.
The conciliation agreement with the Kushner Respondents resulted in a civil penalty of $508,900. The Kushner Respondents also agreed to cease and desist from making partnership contributions without obtaining the actual agreement of the partners to whom the contributions were attributed.
The Commission also accepted a conciliation agreement with Bill Bradley for President in which the committee admitted to violation the Act by accepting $34,000 in contributions from the Kushner Partnerships and paid a civil penalty of $16,445.
The FEC investigation found that the Kushner partnerships violated Commission partnership contribution regulations by failing to obtain the agreement of the partners to whom the contributions were attributed. Charles Kushner, as managing partner of each partnership, determined the partners to whom the contributions would be attributed. Charles Kushner also selected the federal political committees that would receive contributions and determined the aggregate amount of these contributions. He signed the contribution checks and directed management personnel of Kushner Companies to forward the checks on Kushner Companies letterhead to the recipient committees.
A partnership is a "person" under the Federal Election Campaign Act and, subject to other limits and prohibitions, may make federal political contributions. In order to prevent partnerships controlled by the same persons from being used to evade contribution limits and prohibitions, regulations treat partnership contributions as counting towards the contribution limits of both the partnership and the specific partners to whom the contributions are attributed.
By failing to notify and obtain the agreement of the partners, the respondents caused certain partners to make contributions that exceeded their annual contribution limit and attributed contributions to some individuals who were not partners in the contributing partnerships at the time the contributions were made.
The matter originated with a referral from the FEC?s Audit Division, which uncovered the Kushner Respondents? practices during an audit of the Bill Bradley for President Committee.
*There are four administrative stages to the FEC enforcement process:
It requires the votes of at least four of the six Commissioners to take any action. The FEC can close a case at any point after reviewing a complaint. If a violation is found and conciliation cannot be reached, then the FEC can institute a civil court action against a respondent.
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