Republicans probe SEC over fraud investigation of Hunter Biden associates

Hunter Biden invoked father to keep association with fraud scheme defendants private, Republicans say.

Published: June 18, 2024 11:30am

After Hunter Biden was subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with a tribal bonds fraud scheme in 2016, his lawyers invoked his father’s name to urge the agency to keep his association with the partners and companies at the center of the investigation private, according to House Republican chairmen.

This finding spurred a new letter Tuesday from House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to the SEC Chairman Gary Gensler.

The lawmakers are seeking information on the SEC’s decision to subpoena Hunter Biden, the son of President Biden; its internal deliberations following the response; and any ethics opinions from SEC officials about potential father-son business relationships.

The younger Biden’s role in the scheme, which resulted in charges and convictions for two of his close business partners, Devon Archer and Jason Galanis, has long been under question. Though he was intimately associated with the partners and companies at the center of the scheme, no charges were brought against him.

Regardless, Hunter Biden’s lawyers were adamant that his association with those involved should be kept confidential.

“The confidential nature of this investigation is very important to our client and it would be unfair, not just to our client, but also to his father, the Vice President of the United States, if his involvement in an SEC investigation and parallel criminal probe were to become the subject of any media attention,” Biden’s lawyers wrote the SEC after turning over documents in response to a subpoena.

You can read the letter below:

Yet, the evidence cited by the committees shows that federal investigators had reason to believe Hunter Biden may have been associated with the scheme. In fact, an entity he formed alongside Archer through a “hand-shake” agreement purchased some of the tribal bonds.

According to the committees, Biden turned over more than 1,700 documents responsive to the subpoena related to his involvement with Rosemont Seneca Bohai, a company he allegedly formed with Archer and that purchased $15 million of the bonds at the center of the fraudulent scheme.

The committees are requesting the SEC turn over the documents it collected in its investigation to the impeachment inquiry committees.

Despite Biden’s claims that he was not associated with Rosemont Seneca Bohai, evidence provided to congressional investigators by the IRS whistleblowers show that he served as a corporate secretary of the company.

House Republicans recently referred Biden to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution, alleging he made false statements during his impeachment inquiry deposition, including misrepresenting his affiliation with that company.

"Just the News" reported last year that banking whistleblowers from Morgan Stanley had concerns about Biden and Archer’s business ventures dating back to spring 2015. They flagged “suspicious” transactions related to the same tribal bonds scheme and one of the bankers became so concerned he eventually escalated his concerns to the SEC in 2016.

The investigation triggered suspicious activity reports (SARS) filed by banks and a SEC complaint that would eventually lead to the 2016 indictments in the bond fraud scheme and later FBI and IRS investigations targeting Biden himself for alleged tax evasion.

Biden, who was ultimately not charged, featured prominently in the internal Morgan Stanley compliance presentation on the suspicious tribal bonds transactions. The presentation highlighted his affiliation with the companies and individuals involved in the suspicious transactions.

The committees also requested Tuesday in their letter that the lead investigator of the tribal bonds scheme come before them for a transcribed interview to answer questions about the case.

“Mr. Biden’s response gratuitously invoked his father’s position as the Vice President in what could be interpreted as an effort to discourage further SEC scrutiny. And on May 11, 2016, the SEC published a press release – announcing the charging of seven individuals – with no mention or charging of Hunter Biden,” the chairmen wrote.

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