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Dirty Money review: Netflix connects the Jared Kushner dots in Slumlord Millionaire

Jared Kushner
This is a hard fact-based, eye-opener on how Jared Kushner ascended and the human toll his company has extracted. Pic credit: Netflix

Dirty Money, Episode 1 of Season 2, titled Slumlord Millionaire, is this weekend watch pick to stream on Netflix.

The probing Netflix documentary series shows how big money gets away with murder in the USA.

The second season of the Alex Gibney-produced series shows how criminal malfeasance, outright illegal actions, and fraud can flourish right under the noses of paid government officials tasked to rein them in and keep tabs.

So many fails; so many little guy victims.

Dirty Money season 2 is back streaming on Netflix (dropped on March 11), and the kickoff episode, Slumlord Millionaire, is one to watch this weekend.

It will help you understand how banks, courts, unethical lawyers and big corporations steamroll average people and extract usury level fees and fines further setting back those who can least afford to pay.

People overwhelmed by court actions and who have little to no means to fight back. People who live paycheck to paycheck.

Ever been on the wrong side of a lien, judgment, or ancient debt, sold off to a soulless debt collector stacking on interest and fees mercilessly? This Dirty Money tale will feel familiar.

There are villains, heroes, and victims in Slumlord Millionaire.

The focus of the documentary is Jared Kushner, who happens to be connected to POTUS by marriage to his daughter Ivanka Trump.

This is the story of the rise of Kushner, from a rich real estate heir to now White House adviser, who made a colossally awful real estate deal in Manhattan right before the 2008 crash. He then allegedly used his political connections to get bailout loans to keep his real estate empire afloat.

Not only did he have bad timing in the 666 5th Avenue deal, but his empire of slums and the chronicled and verified abusive tactics used to drive out rent-controlled tenants to jack up the rents for new tenants will set your blood on fire.

Buckle up. There’s no whitewashing as the levels of ruthless capitalism run amok and we take a tour of “Kushnerworld” — a place headed by a kid who was handed everything, and who we learn watching Slumlord Millionaire, has no time for what he considers non-important people.

Jared Kushner could quite possibly be one of the most successful social climbers in the history of baldfaced ambitious strivers.

The villains of Slumlord Millionaire – Dirty Money

The Kushner family patriarch: Charlie Kushner served time for setting up his own brother-in-law in a sex sting with a prostitute in a bid to extort him. Kushner was a huge Bill and Hillary Clinton donor.

Jared Kushner: The kid who was given the “red carpet come on in” treatment by Harvard University, despite mediocre grades.

The man who allowed his shell corporations to wreak havoc on single mothers like Kamiia Warren, who was mercilessly pursued, for what we come to find out, was no legal reason.

They simply had a document she needed to produce (she had lost her copy) to prove she was not in violation of her lease when she left a Kushner property.

The Clintons, and Bill DeBlasio: Forget your political bias, there are plenty of fingers to point in the whorish money-grabbing world of politics, on both sides of the aisle.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, no angel himself, was one of the first politicians to openly condemn the Kushner family business tactics.

The heroes of Slumlord Millionaire – Dirty Money

You will admire the dogged work of lawyer Aaron Carr, the executive director of the Housing Rights Initiative.

His painstaking work revealed that the Kushner company was in gross violations for safety for their tenants, and who also failed to disclose the existence of rent-stabilized units in buildings.

This malfeasance allowed it to skirt real oversight during renovations and to boldly harass tenants 24/7 with noise violations and safety hazards like unfettered asbestos and silica indoor air pollution.

Another hero to salute is an up-and-comer politician, New Yorker Ritchie Torres, who chairs a city council committee on public housing and who grew up in a rent-stable home.

He fights for the renters in New York and has found an ally with Carr.

He held a press conference that showed there was a direct link between the falsification of permits by Kushner’s company, and part of his fight to stem the decline of affordable housing in New York.

ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis, whose 2017 report titled The Beleaguered Tenants of Kushnerville blew open some doors for justice.

Especially for the aforementioned single mother, Kamiia Warren, who was contacted by a law firm to fight on her behalf after reading MacGillis’ sobering accounts of the Jared Kushner-owned company wrongdoings.

The victim spotlight of Dirty Money

In Slumloard Millionaire, we sit at the kitchen table with Kamiia Warren, a hardworking mother of three who was practically bankrupted (and nearly physically arrested) by Jared Kushner’s company over false claims she owed money to them.

Her quiet retelling of the nightmarish chain of events will have you seeing red.

Lucky for her that a law firm stepped in on her behalf after reading her heartbreaking true story retold by MacGillis.

That muscle got the documents she had signed but had lost her copy of, and that original was deeply buried away, hidden by the forces bleeding her with Draconian wage garnishments and fines.

Hats off to Dirty Money creator Alex Gibney, whose canon of work includes Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and more.

Gibney is adept at finding the stories that need to be told.

Dirty Money further underscores how important protecting and nurturing the investigative reporters doing the underpaid heavy lifting are for our Democracy to work fairly for all people.

Specifically, with Dirty Money Slumlord Millionaire, he exposes the gross financial malpractice large real estate companies and courts in bed with debt collectors get away with on every level.

Make every effort to see this first installment of season 2 of Dirty Money, titled Slumlord Millionaire, on Netflix.

Dirty Money Season 2 is now available to stream on Netflix.

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