Hunter Biden has been charged in connection with a long-running Justice Department investigation into his taxes: the second criminal case that special counsel David Weiss has brought against President Joe Biden’s son.
The charges cover nine counts, including failure to file and pay taxes; evaluation evasion; and false or fraudulent tax returns. CNN was the first to report that a new criminal case had been filed.
According to the special counsel team, Hunter Biden “engaged in a four-year scheme to fail to pay at least $1.4 million” in taxes he owed from 2016 to 2019. Although Hunter Biden ultimately paid his taxes beginning in 2018, Prosecutors allege it included “false business deductions for the purpose of evading tax assessment to reduce the significant tax liabilities he faced.”
Prosecutors also allege in the indictment that he “subverted his own company’s tax withholding and payroll process” by withdrawing millions of dollars outside of his tax withholding and payroll process.
The president’s son “spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle instead of paying his taxes,” the indictment states.
Hunter Biden’s lawyers had no immediate comment. When asked for comment, the White House referred CNN to the Justice Department and Hunter Biden’s representatives.
In a news release announcing the charges Thursday, the Justice Department said Hunter Biden could face a maximum of 17 years in prison if convicted of the charges.
The case was close to being resolved in July when a plea deal fell through. The new tax case arises from Hunter Biden’s lucrative overseas business dealings – including his involvement with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma and a Chinese private equity fund – that are at the center of House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry. of Representatives against Joe Biden.
Now, the president will campaign for a second term in the White House and fight a Republican impeachment attempt while his son fights to avoid jail time in two criminal cases.
Hunter Biden’s lawyers had no immediate comment. The White House
According Court filings from now-defunct plea agreement, Hunter Biden repeatedly missed IRS deadlines to pay his federal taxes on time and ultimately owed the government about $2 million. He returned the money in 2021with a loan from a friend.
Federal prosecutors have been examining Hunter Biden’s finances since 2018, and Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss was appointed special prosecutor in August.
The investigation appeared to be coming to an end this summer when Hunter Biden agreed to plead guilty to two minor tax offenses, and prosecutors would recommend no prison time. They also agreed that he would drop the weapons charge in two years if he stayed out of legal trouble.
But both proposed deals collapsed after scrutiny of a federal judge and disagreements over the fine print. Weiss then indicted Hunter Biden in September on three counts related to the purchase of a gun at a store in Delaware in 2018, at a time when prosecutors say he was using illegal drugs. He pleaded not guilty in the case to weapons possession and false statements.
Hunter Biden’s lawyers previously accused Weiss of “caving to political pressure” from Republicans and said his actions “present a serious threat to our justice system.”
One of the reasons Republicans have attacked Weiss is the testimony of two IRS whistleblowers who were involved in the investigation and said they witnessed political interference by the Department of Justice. The whistleblowers said career IRS agents recommended felony tax charges against Hunter Biden in early 2022.
Weiss and Attorney General Merrick Garland have disproved the statements of the complainants.
Hunter Biden made millions of dollars from private equity deals, corporate consulting and legal fees in Ukraine, China, Romania and other countries. Prosecutors previously said he had the money to buy luxury items like a Porsche and accountants and associates warned him about his impending tax bills, but he still failed to meet IRS deadlines.
House Republicans have focused on many of these foreign deals as part of their own investigations.
they have discovered some evidence that hunter biden leveraged his father’s position to earn money. But his impeachment investigation relies heavily on his unproven claims that Joe Biden was involved in “corrupt” deals with his son.
To date, federal prosecutors have never offered any evidence to support GOP claims that Joe Biden had business dealings with his son or abused his powers to enrich his family.
This headline and story have been updated with additional news.