Follow Us

Banks, feds knew of suspicious Hunter Biden deals even as Joe Biden issued constant denials

From 2015 to 2018, banks, federal agencies, and at least one foreign government knew of suspicious transactions surrounding Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.

Published: December 3, 2023 11:59pm

Updated: December 4, 2023 3:03pm

In June of this year, President Biden denied having any knowledge of his son's business dealings. When the contents of his son's abandoned laptop disclosed considerable evidence that contradicted the president's claims, he dismissed the laptop as a "smear" designed by former President Donald Trump and Russia.

Although the president insists that his son did nothing wrong in business dealings in Ukraine and China, bank examiners, the United States Treasury and a government agency in Europe knew a very different story that flagged suspicious transactions, potential money laundering and influence operations.

The evidence comes from documents uncovered by congressional investigators and previously by Just the News. This evidence shows a clear pattern of suspicion on behalf of financial institutions and regulators surrounding transactions related to Hunter Biden business dealings in Ukraine and China from 2015 to 2018.

This evidence shows that even as then-candidate Biden’s campaign dismissed concerns about Hunter Biden’s business deals and money flowing to his coffers, communications and memos that flagged the payments as suspicious had built up in the preceding years among private banks and government entities.

"My son has not made money in terms of this thing about—what are you talking about—China. I have not had it,” then-candidate Biden said at the October 2019 presidential debate against President Trump.

President Biden’s denials of any wrongdoing by Hunter Biden or his family continue to the present day. “First of all, my son's done nothing wrong. I trust him. I have faith in him. And it impacts my presidency by making me feel proud of him,” President Biden told Stephanie Ruhle of MSNBC earlier this year.

Yet, contrary evidence extends back to at least 2015, when bank examiners from Morgan Stanley first flagged transactions around Hunter Biden. Chairman James Comer, whose Oversight Committee, is investigating the Biden family’s business dealings, told the "Just the News, No NoiseTV show on Friday that the timeline reveals evidence of a coverup.

“It shows there was a coverup, John, and I understand banking. And when I first learned that there were over 150 Suspicious Activity Reports, and that was first discovered in the Grassley and Johnson report. As someone with a banking background on like, my god, guys, when I was talking to the oversight staff, this is a big deal!” Comer said.

“No one, no one has more than one or two suspicious activity reports, and these are criminals that get them. When you’re talking about have 150, and then we go to Treasury, John, and we find they're actually 170. And then that they are subjects of another 50,” Comer explained.

“So there's 220 Suspicious Activity Reports in Treasury, flagging potential criminal behavior by one family, if that family is any family in America whose last name is not Joe, not Biden, they would already be in prison, they would have at least had their day in court,” Comer continued.

Of the banks and investigators who reported these concerns, Comer said they carried out their duty. “The bank did what it was supposed to do. And they contacted the Treasury cabinet [sic] saying, look, our client has potentially committed a crime. That's why they got 170 Suspicious Activity Reports,” Comer explained.

On Wednesday, congressional investigators released their latest piece of evidence, a new memo that showed a money laundering investigator flagging a $5 million loan that the Biden family received from the arm of a Chinese energy firm and raising concerns about potentially illegal activity.

The new memo shows that in the summer of 2018 investigators at an unidentified bank raised concerns surrounding the multimillion dollar transfer for the Chinese firm. The money laundering investigator labelled the transaction as “high risk” and possibly tied to efforts by the communist government to gain influence through Hunter Biden, according to the email released by the committee.

"We have been monitoring the subject customer due to the PEP designation and observations on the account activity as well as recent negative news indicate this entity to be high risk,” the money laundering investigator wrote.

The email reveals that bank investigators had traced the payment from Northern International Capitol Holdings (HK) Limited, a firm tied to CEFC—a Chinese-government-linked entity controlled by former energy tycoon Ye Jianming. The money was sent to Hudson West III, a joint venture between the Biden family and CEFC, and ultimately ended up in the account of Hunter Biden’s Owasco PC law firm.

The bank investigator also raised concerns about the “unusual” characteristics of the payments, the fact that the joint venture appeared to have no active investment projects, and that there was apparently no documentation of the loan agreement. The investigator also expressed concerns that Hunter Biden was the target of a Chinese influence operation, based on contemporaneous reporting.

You can read the bank investigator’s memo below:

 

The bank investigators were not the only ones to raise document concerns with the money flows into the Biden coffers.

The U.S. Treasury Department has also produced more than 150 memos documenting suspicious activity. In 2020, two Republican Senators released an extensive joint report that detailed Hunter Biden’s financial relationships with entities in China, Russia, and Ukraine while his father served as vice president, basing the information contained in the report on memos reviewed by congressional committees.

The report, compiled by the two committees under the direction of Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., was based on financial records called Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) issued by the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The purpose of a SAR is “to report known or suspected violations of law or suspicious activity observed by financial institutions subject to the regulations of the Bank Secrecy Act,” according to FinCEN.

The senators’ report identified significant payments from a Kazakh businessman, the widow of a former Moscow mayor and Russian oligarch, and Chinese individuals and entities connected with CEFC, relying on the confidential SARs that they obtained directly from the U.S. Treasury Department. Just the News has also reported extensively on these flows of money.

You can read the Grassley-Johnson report below:

 

The earliest known warning came in 2015 from a banking whistleblower who raised the alarm flagging what they feared were “suspicious” transactions and “fraudulent" schemes in which Hunter Biden was involved, Just the News previously reported. One of the bank investigators became so concerned he eventually escalated his concerns to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to documents that were provided to Congress and obtained by Just the News.

“Due diligence on involved parties reveals less than clean records,” a Morgan Stanley investment bank compliance presentation from May 2015 stated. The presentation covered Hunter Biden’s background, highlighting his expulsion from the U.S. Navy and his work for the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.

The presentation is one of the earliest known whistleblower activities to raise serious questions about Hunter Biden and his foreign dealings, ultimately triggering some of the SARs and even an SEC complaint that would lead to the 2016 indictment of Devon Archer and several other Biden associates in a bond fraud scheme and the FBI and IRS investigations into Hunter Biden’s own tax evasion.

“No clear illegal activity is being accused, but authors of this presentation determined activity was suspicious enough to warrant escalation of review by appropriate internal Compliance representatives,” the internal presentation stated.

The probes spurred panic among Hunter Biden and his associates, especially when a subpoena for Hunter Biden’s records arrived in March 2016, according to documents previously published by Just the News.

There were also warnings occurring in at least one European capital. In February 2016, authorities from the Baltic country of Latvia flagged a series of “ suspicious” financial transactions between Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings and asked Ukraine to help investigate, according to documents and interviews, Just the News reported in January 2020.

The alert to Ukraine came from the Latvian prosecutorial agency responsible for investigating money laundering, and it specifically questioned whether Vice President Joe Biden’s younger son and three other officials at Burisma Holdings were the potential beneficiaries of suspect funds.

“The Office for Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity … is currently investigating suspicious activity of Burisma Holdings Limited,” the Latvian agency also known as the FIU wrote to Ukraine’s financial authorities, according to the document obtained by Just the News.

The Latvian law enforcement memo identified a series of loan payments totaling about $16.6 million that were routed through companies in Belize and the United Kingdom to Burisma using Ukraine’s PrivatBank between 2012 and 2015. The funds from the suspicious transactions were “partially transferred” to Hunter Biden and three other officials working for the Ukrainian energy company, the Latvian memo said.

Latvian authorities did not receive any incriminating information back from the Ukrainian government to further the investigation and took no further action that year.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Just the News. Abbe Lowell—the lawyer representing Hunter Biden—did not respond to a request for comment before the time of publication.

The White House on Friday pushed back against Republican claims that the administration is “obstructing” and “stonewalling” their impeachment inquiry investigation.

"Claims of 'obstruction' and 'stonewalling' are easily refuted by the facts," White House spokesperson Ian Sams wrote in a memo, according to Axios.

"Despite receiving this significant volume of material, House Republicans have just failed to turn up any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden–but plenty of evidence debunking their claims,” Sams wrote. "Not finding what they hoped to uncover is not evidence of 'obstruction,'" he continued.

“We've been obstructed at every turn. We've been obstructed by the government agencies. We've been obstructed by Biden legal team. One group that has not obstructed us are the banks, because the banks want us to have it. The banks are frustrated that this family has been treated differently,” Comer said on the "Just the News, No Noise" television show.

After the memo from the White House and releasing its latest piece of evidence, the House Oversight Committee rebuffed Hunter Biden’s efforts to secure a public hearing before appearing for a closed door deposition—the ordinary procedure for congressional witnesses. In the letter, delivered to Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell, the Oversight Committee promised that its investigation with proceed with “interference or obstruction.”

Just the News Spotlight