Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Trump Adviser's Brother Is in Prison for Ponzi Scheme

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Trump Adviser's Brother Is in Prison for Ponzi Scheme

Article excerpt

Jason Greenblatt of Teaneck, who was just appointed as an international aide to President-elect Donald Trump, has a brother serving time in prison for a $31 million Ponzi scheme, but says he doesn't want to be associated with him.

Greenblatt, 49, said in an email Friday that he has not spoken to his brother, Joseph, in "well over a decade as a result of me being a victim of his actions."

"Any connection you are attempting to make between him [and me] is completely false, irrelevant and misleading," said Jason Greenblatt, a top lawyer in the Trump real estate organization.

Political scientists said Friday that the American people generally do not blame or shun public figures when their relatives go rogue. In fact, Jason Greenblatt is not the first Trump associate to have a family member with a criminal history. Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, served time for tax evasion and retaliating against a witness.

Jason Greenblatt has been described as low-key and community- minded, and there is no evidence of any involvement in his brother's activities, which were extensively covered by The Record. The family connection was first reported by the Forward, a New York newspaper covering the Jewish community.

"The American sense of fairness is that you are judged for your deeds, not for your siblings' deeds or even your parents' deeds," said Peter Woolley, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University's campus in Madison. "I think the Trump phenomenon has broken down many, many protocols and many unwritten rules, but this is probably not one of them."

Gerald Pomper, a retired professor of political science at Rutgers University, agreed.

"It seems to me you judge the person on what they have done," he said.

Jason Greenblatt's life stands in stark contrast to his brother's. Jason is married to a psychiatrist, Naomi Greenblatt, and is the father of six children, including a set of teenage triplets. Jason and Naomi Greenblatt write a blog, inspireconversation. …

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