Hunter Biden's ex-business partner was convicted nearly four years ago of securities fraud and still he has not spent a day in prison. And now Devon Archer's lawyers are trying to delay his punishment yet again with a new appeal that did not amuse federal prosecutors.
Archer faces one year and one day in prison and was ordered last month to pay financial penalties of $15 million and over $43 million in restitution.
His arguments to appeal and postpone serving prison time have no merit, the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan told the trial judge Monday.
"Archer falls far short of meeting his burden of establishing the necessary 'substantial question of law or fact' to justify bail pending appeal or a stay of forfeiture," the prosecutors wrote in their motion.
You can read the government's motion here.
Archer and two co-defendants were found guilty in 2018 of defrauding an impoverished Indian tribe of $60 million in a bond scheme. His lawyers now argue his prison sentence and monetary penalty are too severe because he may not have known the entire extent of the crime.
Prosecutors scoffed at that argument, saying Archer knew about the bond issuances, bought $15 million of bonds with his own money, and made "varied lies to banks" and his corporate board to further the scheme.
"It would make no sense to find that he knew about only one aspect of the scheme," the prosecutors argued. "Archer’s guilt having already been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the Court was then bound by the evidence – not the jury’s verdict – to find that the entirety of the scheme was foreseeable to Archer."
They also said: "In short, the defendant’s motion for a stay should be denied."
Archer was convicted along with two other people in 2018 of "conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud" after a trial that lasted more than a month.
Before being arrested, Archer served with Hunter Biden on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.
Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, has not been connected to the tribal fraud scheme for which Archer was sentenced.
A 2020 report from the Senate's Finance and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees shows Archer's close ties to the Biden family.
Archer is mentioned in the second paragraph of the report, 42 times total.
"On April 16, 2014, [then]Vice President Biden met with his son’s business partner, Devon Archer, at the White House. Five days later, Vice President Biden visited Ukraine," the report states, adding that within a month Archer and Hunter Biden were appointed to the Burisma board.
"Over the course of the next several years, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer were paid millions of dollars from a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch for their participation on the board," the 87-page report alleges.