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Federal appeals court reinstates criminal convictions of Hunter Biden's business partner

Devon Archer was found guilty of fraud, conspiracy.

Updated: October 8, 2020 - 5:35pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Wednesday reversed a lower court decision to grant a new trial in a fraud case involving Hunter Biden's ex-business partner Devon Archer.

Hunter Biden was not charged in the scheme, but Biden's name was reportedly "invoked at various stages of the fraud as a selling point in transactions."

Archer was indicted on March 26, 2018 and charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud for a Native American tribal bond scheme hatched by Archer and several of his business partners. After a trial lasting approximately one month, the jury found Archer guilty on both counts. Archer asked the district court to set aside the jury's verdict and successfully pushed for a retrial.

Now, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated the jury's conviction and sent the Archer case back to district court for sentencing. The court summarized the decision as follows: "Because the weight of the evidence presented at trial did not preponderate heavily against the jury's verdict, we find that the district court abused its discretion in vacating the judgment and granting a new trial. Accordingly, the decision of the district court is REVERSED, and the jury verdict is reinstated. The case is REMANDED to the district court for sentencing."

Financial records made public during Archer's 2018 trial revealed large sums of Chinese and Ukrainian money flowing into Archer's and Biden's accounts via a Morgan Stanley account for an entity called Rosemont Seneca Bohai, LLC (RSB). For example, the RSB financial records revealed that Ukraine's largest gas company, Burisma Holdings, funneled millions to Archer and Biden in 2014 and 2015. According to Archer's bank statement, Burisma paid at least $166,666.66 (twin payments of $83,333.33) into Biden and Archer's joint account each month between May 2014 and October 2015.

Archer's bank statement released in the trial also revealed that the China state-owned Bank of China directly funneled more than $100,000 into the same account as Burisma beginning in December 2014. Another entity, Novatus Holding Pte. Ltd., wired $142,300 to the Rosemont account on April 22, 2014. That entity is controlled by a Kazakh businessman named Kenges Rakishev who has close ties to the leaders of Kazakhstan.

Many of the financial records revealed during Archer's 2018 trial became the subject of a joint Senate committee investigation. The GOP-led investigation slammed the Bidens and their associates for apparent conflicts of interest and flagged possible criminal activity while citing "glaring" evidence of Burisma bribes, suspicious foreign money transfers and sex trafficking.

In addition to Archer's financial records, the Senate report cited nonpartisan Treasury Department documents called Suspicious Activity Reports, which are generated by financial institutions when transactions appear suspicious or money-laundering is suspected.

"Treasury records acquired by the Chairmen show potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals," the 87-page report disclosed, confirming an earlier report in Just the News.

"The report raises serious questions that former Vice President Biden needs to answer," Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) told Just the News. "There are simply too many potential conflicts of interest, counterintelligence and extortion threats to ignore."

Archer's attorney, Matthew L. Schwartz of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, stated: "Yesterday's ruling, which second-guesses that judge's decision without having sat through the evidence and listened to the witnesses, is beyond disappointing."