Chera’s real estate career began when he started buying the commercial buildings that housed the family’s chain of specialty children’s stores, holdings that became Crown acquisitions, according to the company’s website. The company eventually sold retail stores to focus on real estate. Crown’s assets include several iconic New York properties, such as the St. Regis New York and the Cartier Mansion.
Chera was also friends with President Donald Trump.
From 2016 to 2019, Chera donated a total of $ 402,800 to Donald J. Trump for President Inc. and Trump Victory, organizations dedicated to supporting the Trump presidency, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Chera’s Crown acquisitions reached an agreement in 2008 with Trump’s son-in-law and the White House senior advisor, Jared Kushner, The Kushner Companies and the private equity firm The Carlyle Group. Crown Acquisitions and Carlyle Group have acquired an interest in the commercial portion of the building located at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York, which was owned by Kushner Companies. The Fifth Avenue skyscraper ended up being a troubled property that weighed on the Kushner’s portfolio for years until the building was sold to Brookfield Properties in 2018.
Chera presented Trump at the Veterans Day parade in New York last November, calling the president “my dear friend.”
Trump called Chera at a 2019 rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, describing her as “one of the largest builders and real estate agents in the world.”
“And he’s a great guy and he’s been with me from the start,” said Trump of Chera.
The New York Post reported Chera’s hospitalization with a coronavirus on March 24.
Last month, Trump described a friend who was battling the “wickedness” of the coronavirus and was in a coma.
Chera is now believed to be the specific person Trump was describing. The facts of Chera’s illness are what Trump described.
“We thought they were going to have a sweet stay, and in one case, he is unconscious, in a coma,” also said Trump. “And you say, how did it happen?” “
Three people familiar with the case told the New York Times that Trump was describing Chera in his comments about the person. The Times reported that two of the sources said that Chera was in a medically induced coma at the time.
Trump then said he had “friends who are incredibly sick.” It’s unclear what other Trump friends were referring to.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment regarding Trump’s description of the friend, his friendship with Chera, or the death of Chera.
Chera’s family has not publicly discussed the president’s friendship or Chera’s death.
While Chera was known in New York as a real estate and business titan, he was also a philanthropist who funded causes like soup kitchens, the source said, confirming Chera’s death to CNN. Her ultimate philanthropic passion was helping children with special needs, the source said.
Chera was a co-founder of the Sephardic Community Center in Brooklyn, a non-profit organization.
He “was a very special man, loved by all,” said the community center in a statement. “His dedication to so many of our community institutions is unmatched. “
– Amir Vera and Claire Colbert of CNN contributed to this report.