Hunter Biden was indicted on Thursday on nine charges, including three felonies filed by the Justice Department. The allegations involve his alleged evasion of over $1 million in taxes while living a hard-partying "extravagant" life over a four-year period. Judge Mark Scarsi, appointed by former President Donald Trump, has been tasked with presiding over the case.
The nine charges against Biden relate to tax-related offenses. These include two felony charges for submitting a false return, one felony charge for tax evasion, four charges for failure to pay taxes, and an additional two charges for failure to file taxes. The charges encompass the tax years of 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Hunter in the Net
Prosecutors allege that President Joe Biden's son spent millions of dollars on an "extravagant lifestyle" while simultaneously evading tax payments for an extended period. The Justice Department has said that Hunter Biden could potentially face a prison sentence of up to 17 years for these alleged offenses.
"The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019," Special Counsel David Weiss writes in the 56-page indictment out of the Central District of California.
"In furtherance of that scheme," Weiss notes that Hunter "subverted the payroll and tax withholding process of his own company, Owasco, PC by withdrawing millions from Owasco, PC" and "spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills."
The indictment alleges that Hunter utilized his funds for various personal indulgences such as drugs, escorts, girlfriends, luxury hotels, rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other non-tax-related expenses.
According to the indictment, he reportedly spent over $27,000 on a porn site, constituting one-fifth of his business line of credit expenditures.
This amount was part of nearly $189,000 spent on "adult entertainment," including a $10,000 payment falsely categorized as a "golf club membership" for a sex club.
Moreover, the indictment claims that Biden falsely deducted payments labeled as "consulting," which were, in reality, payments to women either romantically involved with him or providing personal services.
Over $680,000 allegedly went to these women during the period when Biden was not fulfilling his tax obligations to the government.
"When he did finally file his 2018 returns, [Hunter] included false business deductions in order to evade assessment of taxes to reduce the substantial tax liabilities he faced as of February 2020," the special counsel adds.
The President's son is already facing three felony charges linked to false statements made during the acquisition of a firearm. These charges were filed by Weiss in September after a June plea deal fell apart in a Delaware courtroom.
Hunter Biden has been entangled in legal issues, including the firearm-related charges and now the new tax evasion allegations.
Fate Hangs in Balance
Hunter has pleaded not guilty to all charges. In the gun case, he could potentially face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. The indictment against Hunter was presented by Weiss, who had convened a Los Angeles grand jury for this purpose, as reported by CNN.
As part of his ongoing five-year investigation into Hunter, the special counsel also issued a subpoena to James Biden, the President's brother.
Regarding a previous failed deal, Hunter had initially agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to his failure to pay at least $100,000 in taxes on earnings exceeding $1.5 million for both 2017 and 2018. However, this deal ultimately fell apart.
At that time, Weiss opted not to pursue charges against Hunter for purported tax offenses committed in southern California and Washington, DC, as the respective US attorneys in those districts declined to collaborate on the investigation.
IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley has claimed that Biden allegedly evaded taxes on $8.3 million in income earned from 2014 to 2019. This period coincided with Hunter's service on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings and the Chinese private equity fund BHR Partners.
During the plea hearing, prosecutors told US District Judge Maryellen Noreika that the agreement did not preclude the possibility of bringing charges against Hunter later for other alleged crimes, including potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
The alleged FARA violations relate to Hunter's failure to register as a foreign agent while engaging in lucrative transactions in countries such as China and Ukraine, purportedly involving his father and uncle.
The FBI, responsible for investigating aspects of Weiss's probe related to money laundering and FARA violations, reportedly did not anticipate bringing charges against Hunter Biden in connection with those matters, as per information from CNN.
The initiation of a new criminal case against Hunter Biden comes as House Republicans prepare to formally authorize an impeachment inquiry into President Biden on allegations of corruption.