On Thursday, the Department of Justice filed fresh criminal charges against Hunter Biden, the son of U.S. President Joe Biden. The charges allege that he failed to pay $1.4 million in taxes while leading a lavish lifestyle.
Hunter Biden, aged 53, faces three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses, as outlined in an indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 17 years in prison. The ongoing investigation by the Justice Department continues to scrutinize Biden’s financial dealings.
The indictment states that Hunter Biden participated in a four-year scheme, avoiding payment of at least $1.4 million in federal taxes for the years 2016 through 2019. Instead, he reportedly spent substantial amounts on various personal indulgences, such as drugs, escorts, luxury hotels, rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and more, including over $70,000 on drug rehabilitation.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, countered the charges, stating that his client had fully repaid the taxes. Lowell accused U.S. Special Counsel David Weiss, leading the investigation, of breaking a prior agreement and displaying political bias. Lowell argued that if Hunter Biden’s last name were different, the charges would not have been brought.
The White House declined to comment on the matter, and it remains unclear when Hunter Biden will appear in court.
The indictment highlights Hunter Biden’s significant earnings from his positions on the boards of Burisma, a Ukrainian conglomerate, and a Chinese private equity fund. Prosecutors assert that between 2016 and October 2020, he received over $7 million in total gross income. This included almost $2.3 million from his role on the board of Burisma from 2016 to 2019.
Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma has been a target of criticism from Republican lawmakers, who claim he used his family name for financial gain overseas. The indictment emphasizes that he had a legal obligation to pay taxes on all his income, including earnings from his work in Ukraine and with the Chinese private equity fund.
As Hunter Biden’s income rose, so did his spending, reaching over $1.8 million in 2018 alone, including substantial amounts on cash withdrawals, payments to women, and clothing and accessories. The indictment notes that these funds were not used to fulfill his tax obligations in 2018.
In October, Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to charges in Delaware related to alleged lies about his drug use while purchasing a handgun. This marked the first criminal prosecution of a sitting U.S. president’s child.
David Weiss, appointed Delaware U.S. attorney by former President Donald Trump and later made special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland, brought charges in Delaware after a previously proposed plea deal unraveled. The deal had involved pleading guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges for unpaid taxes in 2017 and 2018. However, the proposed plea deal was rejected in July by U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, raising concerns about its legality and the scope of immunity offered.
Former President Trump criticized the rejected plea deal, claiming it amounted to favorable treatment for the president’s son.