Hunter Biden's partners: A rogues' gallery of corruption, indictments, and charges of treason

Hunter Biden's foreign business partners were a cast of characters suspected of corruption, indicted by U.S. authorities, and--in one case--charged with treason.
Hunter Biden, Washington, D.C., Feb. 28, 2024

Hunter Biden and his associates, in their foray into the world of international deal-making, worked with a rogue’s gallery of foreign partners who were under investigation in their home countries or were convicted in the United States.

In certain cases, the Biden team appeared to use this to their advantage, extracting concessions in exchange for assistance in the United States.

“The Biden's would do anything they could to try to obtain money from desperate people. If you look, the one thing everyone has in common, who wired…Hunter Biden or Jim Biden money, the one thing they all had in common is they were in trouble,” House Oversight Chairman James Comer said on the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show Wednesday.

“They were being investigated for corruption in a foreign country, or they were needing a pardon, or they were in fear of being indicted in the United States. Every single person that sent the Biden's money was in trouble. And I think that they use that in their marketing and the marketing of the Biden brand,” he explained.

Hunter Biden’s team has long defended his foreign ventures as normal business.

“Hunter Biden did not involve his father in, nor did his father assist him in, his business” and “it’s been five years of investigations into Hunter Biden and his legitimate business activities, and still Republicans have nothing to show for it,” Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, told The Washington Post in November.

However, a review of Hunter Biden’s main foreign partners show at least three were under investigation for corruption, two were indicted by U.S authorities, and one was arrested under suspicion of treason in his country.

“So you give us enough money, and we'll make your troubles go away,” Comer said of the business model. “I mean, that's what it appears. The Biden's tried to do and a lot of it is is that the only way you could explain the money because they weren't selling anything? They weren't manufacturing anything. And they didn't have a legitimate business,” he asserted.

Here are those foreign business partners and the allegations against them:

Mykola Zlochevsky

Whether or not the founder of the energy company Burisma was under investigation by Ukrainian authorities when then-Vice President Joe Biden forced the firing of that country’s prosecutor general has remained a point of contention. However, evidence uncovered by the GOP’s impeachment probe and emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop show Burisma knew the investigation was active when Hunter Biden served on the board of the company.

After the Prosecutor General seized Zlochevsky’s property in February 2016 in connection with the investigation, Ukrainian news media reported the ex-government minister and Burisma owner was suspected of violating a statute against “illicit enrichment.” He reportedly helped to award his own company oil exploration rights during his tenure in government.

Zlochevsky was also previously under investigation by British authorities under suspicion of money laundering, although he was accquited in a London court. The London-based Serious Fraud Office told the Kyiv Post that the discharge was decided by the judge since “there was insufficient evidence to meet the threshold required.”

Dmitry Firtash

One former business partner of the first son testified to Congress that Hunter Biden sought a $5 million payment to quash a U.S. indictment of oligarch Dmitry Firtash while his father was vice president, Just the News previously reported.

Firtash is a controversial Ukrainian figure who was indicted by the Obama-Biden Justice Department in 2014 over corruption allegations. His high-powered lawyers have argued that the U.S. charges against Firtash are unwarranted.

Hunter Biden also told the Oversight Committee Firtash, who was closely connected to the state-owned gas company in Ukraine, was tied to Russia—citing it as one of the reasons he joined the board of Burisma.

Gabriel Popoviciu

Gabriel Popoviciu, a Romanian businessman who was being investigated by anti-corruption prosecutors in his country, retained Hunter Biden to represent him in 2015. The House Oversight Committee identified several transactions between Popoviciu and entities connected to Hunter Biden from 2015 to 2017 totaling $3 million according to bank records. Popoviciu was ultimately convicted in 2016 of “complicity in abuse of power” and was also charged with bribery shortly after, NBC News reported.

Patrick Ho

Patrick Ho, the now infamous associate of CEFC China energy which paid Hunter Biden millions, was arrested in New York in charged in a bribery scheme to secure favorable energy rights for his company in Africa. He was ultimately convicted of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act and money laundering.

Shortly before his arrest, Hunter Biden was paid a $1 million retainer to represent Ho. One of the first phone calls that Ho placed after his arrest was to James Biden—Joe Biden's brother—who believed that Ho was trying to get in contact with his nephew, Hunter. Though he did not directly represent Patrick Ho during his trial, emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop reveal that he played an instrumental role in organizing Ho’s defense.

Ho was also accused by the government during trial of conspiring to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran and helping to broker illicit arms deals with Arab countries while he was funded by Ye’s energy company, though he was not charged with or convicted of these purported violations.

Ye Jianming

According to his own—now-defunct—plea deal with the Justice Department, Hunter Biden raked in just over $5 million from CEFC China Energy from 2017 to 2019. His cooperation was born from his relationship with Chinese tycoon Ye Jianming, which began in late 2015, while Hunter Biden’s father was still vice president.

In addition to his deputy being arrested in the United States, Ye Jianming eventually disappeared in China under mysterious circumstances. He was reportedly under investigation by the Chinese government. His name subsequently appeared in graft trials of senior Chinese Communist Party officials, according to Reuters, indicating that Ye may have been under scrutiny for financial crimes or corruption.

Karim Massimov

A former Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Karim Massimov interacted frequently with Hunter Biden in 2014 and 2015 through fellow oligarch Kenes Rakishev. Contrary to Joe Biden's insistent denials of ever meeting his son's business partners, Massimov reportedly attended at least one dinner at Cafe Milano in Washington, D.C. with Vice President Biden. In addition, Massimov visited the official vice presidential residence at least once for a meeting with Hunter Biden and his partners to discuss his aspirations to be the U.N. General Secretary.

Kenes Rakishev, with whom Massimov is closely associated, famously wired $142,300 to a Biden-connected firm which was used to purchase a Porsche sports car for the future first son.

In 2022, Massimov fell from grace in Kazakhstan when he was arrested by the National Security Committee, a body he chaired until his arrest. The committee suspected him of treason amid widespread protests in the country which left more than one hundred people dead, according to local media reports. He was convicted in a secret trial.

More charges were later brought against him for money laundering and bribery, according to local media.