The property management company owned by Donald Trump's son-in-law and doer-of-hijinks Jared Kushner is accused by Maryland of unfairly charging thousands of people who live in their properties, and forcing residents to suffer in apartments infested with vermin and mold.
Maryland attorney-general Brian Frosh, a Democrat, filed charges in a civil suit on Wednesday against Westminster Management and 25 property owners. The lawsuit involves 9,000 apartment rental units throughout the state of Maryland, many in Baltimore, which Kushner father-in-law Trump slurred as as "disgusting, rat and rodent infested," earlier this year.
Forsh says Kushner's company exploits poor people and fails to perform basic maintenance.
"We're charging that Westminster and the rental property company owners in this case took advantage of consumers, primarily low and middle-income families," Forsh said.
In the complaint, Mr Frosh alleged that Westminster failed to perform basic maintenance on apartment units under its management, neglecting to address rodent infestations, water leaks and other ills.
It also accused the company of collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegitimate fees from tenants, some of which allegedly came from charging prospective tenants more than the state's $25 limit for rental applications.
The attorney-general also accused Westminster of routinely withholding tenants' security deposits at the end of a tenancy for damages that should have been regarded as normal wear and tear.
Laurent Morali, chief executive of the Kushner Companies, the family's real estate holding group, denies the charges and says they are "bogus" and politically motivated.
"We refuse to be extorted by an ambitious attorney-general who clearly cares more about scoring political points than fighting real crime and improving the lives of the people of Maryland," Mr Morali said. "We look forward to defending ourselves against these bogus allegations."