On Thursday, Hunter Biden faced nine counts of tax evasion, marking the second set of charges filed against him this year by the special counsel investigating his personal and financial dealings. A detailed 56-page indictment, filed in the US District Court in California, outlines the case against President Joe Biden’s son, as stated by special counsel David Weiss.
According to the indictment, Hunter Biden is accused of a four-year scheme to avoid paying at least $1.4 million in federal taxes for the tax years 2016 through 2019. The charges include three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses, potentially leading to a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison if convicted, reported CNN.
The indictment further alleges that instead of settling his tax obligations, Hunter Biden spent significant amounts on personal indulgences. These expenditures reportedly included drugs, escorts, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and over $70,000 on drug rehabilitation, as per Reuters.
The timing for Hunter Biden’s court appearance remains uncertain, with no comments yet from his lawyer or the White House on the issue.
The charges elaborate on Hunter Biden’s income sources, including substantial earnings from his roles on the boards of Burisma, a Ukrainian industrial conglomerate, and a Chinese private equity fund.
In a separate case in Delaware, Hunter Biden had previously pleaded not guilty to charges alleging that he lied about his drug use while purchasing a handgun. This was the first criminal prosecution involving a sitting US president’s child.
David Weiss, the Delaware US Attorney appointed by former President Donald Trump and later designated as special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland in August, is leading the investigation into Hunter Biden. Weiss had brought the Delaware charges following the collapse of an earlier plea deal. This initial deal would have seen Hunter Biden plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges for the years 2017 and 2018, potentially allowing him to avoid prison.
However, US District Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected this plea agreement in July due to concerns over its legality and the extent of immunity it provided. Donald Trump, a likely Republican candidate for the next presidential election, criticized the deal, suggesting it offered undue leniency to the president’s son.
The ongoing legal proceedings against Hunter Biden highlight the intense scrutiny of the financial and personal conduct of prominent political figures and their relatives.