Hunter Biden charged with nine criminal counts for allegedly failing to pay taxes

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The new positions They include tax evasion, filing false returns, failure to file returns on time, and failure to pay federal taxes. They have a maximum possible prison sentence of 17 years, although defendants typically receive shorter sentences under federal guidelines.

Each of the tax charges accuses Biden of acting “intentionally,” something his defense will surely challenge, as he has acknowledged that he has struggled with drug addiction for years.

Prosecutors acknowledge those problems at some points in the indictment, but say Biden spent lavishly on an “extravagant lifestyle” while dodging his taxes, including paying for “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing and other items.” of a personal nature.”

“[After] “Five years of investigation with no new evidence, and two years after Hunter paid his taxes in full, the federal prosecutor racked up nine new charges when just a few months ago he had agreed to resolve this matter with a pair of misdemeanors,” the attorney said. Hunter Biden’s lawyer. Abbe Lowell said in a statement. “I wrote to U.S. Attorney Weiss days ago requesting a regular meeting to discuss this investigation. “The response today was leaks in the media that these charges were being filed.”

The charges come amid an effort by House Republicans to link President Joe Biden to his son’s business dealings as part of an impeachment inquiry, although the investigation has produced no evidence that Biden Sr. taken any action as president or vice president to corruptly enrich his family. .

The tax case has been years in the making. Hunter Biden’s financial dealings came to the attention of federal authorities in 2018. After years of investigation, Weiss, the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney for Delaware, considered filing tax charges in California, where Biden was living when he allegedly failed to pay taxes. To do this, Weiss needed to partner with a federal prosecutor in California or receive special authority from the Department of Justice.

In the fall of 2022, Weiss discussed partnering with Martin Estrada, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California. But Estrada refused to be “co-counsel” in the case, since he later told congressional investigators. Instead, Estrada said he offered Weiss office space and administrative support.

Several months later, Weiss’ team negotiated a plea deal with the president’s son that would have required him to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes. In exchange, Biden was unlikely to face prison time on tax or gun charges and would have received protection from future criminal charges.

But after a federal judge They pressured Hunter Biden’s prosecutors and lawyers At a hearing in July on the details of the deal, it collapsed. Then in August, Attorney General Merrick Garland named Weiss a special prosecutor, formally empowering him to pursue criminal charges anywhere in the country. In September, Weiss accused Hunter Biden in Delaware of possessing a gun while he was using drugs and lying on a form when he allegedly purchased that gun in 2018.

The charges Hunter Biden now faces are far more numerous and serious than the pair of misdemeanors to which he had agreed to plead guilty under the previous agreement.

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