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Hunter Biden charged in new federal indictment with engaging in a tax evasion scheme

Special Counsel David Weiss secured new indictment in California federal court just a few months after indicting the first son in Delaware on felony gun charges.

Published: December 7, 2023 8:31pm

Updated: December 7, 2023 10:41pm

Special Counsel David Weiss on Thursday secured a federal grand jury indictment charging Hunter Biden with multiple crimes alleging he engaged in a four-year scheme to evade paying federal taxes, adding serious new legal jeopardy for the first son on the eve of a presidential primary season where his father hopes to win four more years in the White House.

"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, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020," the indictment unsealed in a federal court in California alleged.

In all, Hunter Biden was charged with three tax felonies and six misdemeanors that carry a maximum of 17 years in prison if convicted. They are in addition to three felony gun charges Weiss secured against the first son in federal court in Delaware. 

Prosecutors painted a portrait of Hunter Biden as an unscrupulous taxpayer, evading payment of taxes and failing to file tax forms even as he hauled in millions from foreign interests.

It claimed the president's son spent large sums on an "extravagant lifestyle" – including membership to sex clubs and more than $188,000 on adult entertainment – rather than pay his taxes. 

The indictment alleged he cheated with improper deductions even when he did file taxes. "When he did finally file his 2018 returns, included false business deductions in order to evade assessment of taxes to reduce the substantial tax liabilities he faced as of February 2020," the indictment stated.

Hunter Biden's lawyer Abbe Lowell suggested Thursday night that his client was a victim of politics. If the president's son's "last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought," Lowell insisted.

"I wrote U.S. Attorney Weiss days ago seeking a customary meeting to discuss this investigation. The response was media leaks today that these charges were being filed," Lowell added.

The indictment verifies key allegations that two IRS whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, made to Congress earlier in the year and chronicles how Hunter Biden made millions of dollars from foreign interests while his father was vice president and afterwards. It specifically cites two controversial deals Hunter Biden struck, one with the Burisma Holdings energy firm in Ukraine and the other with CEFC China Energy.

"The Defendant had a legal obligation to pay taxes on all his income, including income earned in Ukraine from his service on Burisma’s Board, fees generated by deal-making with the Chinese private equity fund, as well as income derived from his work as a lawyer and other sources," it noted.

The prosecutors alleged the first son did not pay taxes on income from 2014, his first year on the board of Burisma. "The Defendant did not report his income from Burisma on his 2014 Form 1040," it added, confirming reporting that Just the News first published more than two years ago.