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Bank Tied to Kushner’s NY Real Estate Company Still Under Probe

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The United States Treasury Department is still conducting its investigation into a California bank that loaned money to and bought mortgages from presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner’s real estate company, according to The New York Post.

BOFI Holding, previously known as Bank of Internet USA, is under investigation by the department’s Office of Inspector General, the agency’s counsel, Rich Delmar, confirmed to The New York Post.

“Matter is still ongoing,” Delmar wrote in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request made last month.

“While case is open, we will not provide any records or further information,” Delmar added.

The Securities and Exchange Commission formally closed its civil investigation into the bank, Probes Reporter wrote last year.

The SEC did not bring any charges against BOFI, according to The New York Post.

Fast-growing BOFI is led by chief executive Gregory Garrabrants.

In October, BOFI was behind much of a $57 million bridge loan to Kushner Cos. and its real estate partner, KABR, for a development in Jersey City, Bloomberg has reported.

The relationship between the companies deepened in April, when BOFI took over a $30 million loan from Kushner Cos. for a building in Bushwick, Brooklyn, according to ProPublica.

In 2017, The New York Post first disclosed money laundering probes by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Treasury, the Justice Department, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Tamara Taylor, an outside spokeswoman for BOFI, told The New York Post the company doesn’t know of any pending investigation by Treasury’s Office of Inspector General or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

“The results of FOIA requests are often misinterpreted and used to draw mistaken inferences,” Taylor added.

The probe also homes in on Bank of Internet Chief Executive Gregory Garrabrants, head of the bank since 2007, according to sources who spoke with The New York Post. Neither the 18-year-old bank nor Garrabrants has been accused of any criminal activity, according to The New York Post.

Part of the probe focuses on regulatory filings made by Bank of Internet, also known as BofI, to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, according to four people familiar with the matter who spoke with The New York Post.

In late 2015, a Houston pension fund filed a civil suit against BofI and its CEO claiming the bank “misrepresented the risks of investing” with it, The New York Post reports.

BofI allegedly filed incorrect call reports to conceal loans made to foreign nationals without requiring them to provide a tax identification number. His activities immediately raise suspicions because that number acts as an identification that’s used to root out money laundering, the suit alleges.

By: Saul Graham

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