- New Documents Show Hunter Biden’s name still listed on Chinese company’s Board of Directors
- Hunter retains 10% ownership stake in company
- Hunter Biden did deals in China while father was Vice President, point person on US-Chinese relations
We call them the most powerful family in the world – the family of U.S. President Joe Biden. We’re talking about the people we call The Biden Five. If that sounds to you like a good name for a rock band, keep reading. Peter Schweizer and co-host Eric Eggers talk about their corruption and use of the leverage of government influence to build fortunes.
There are James and Frank, Joe’s brothers, and his sister, Valerie. There is his daughter, Ashley. And hogging the mic out front is Joe’s troubled son, Hunter Biden. If they are a band, Hunter plays lead guitar and lives the rock-and-roll life, too.
Our organization, the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), has been covering the story of Hunter Biden’s business deals with the Chinese government, in Ukraine with the energy company called Burisma, and other countries since 2018, and the story just keeps building. More than one hundred days into Joe’s presidency, Hunter still owns a 10% stake of a Chinese private equity firm, BHR Partners through company Skaneateles LLC, according to Chinese business records provided by Qixinbao and Baidu, despite claiming he would divest ownership.
While he was campaigning in October of 2019 Joe Biden promised Iowa reporters at a labor conference: “No one in my family will have an office in the White House, will sit in on meetings as if they are a cabinet member, will, in fact, have any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or a foreign country. Period. Period. End of story.”
Well, maybe not a “period,” exactly. More like a “dash.”
In a recent BBC interview, Hunter acknowledged that his father’s name “opened doors that wouldn’t be opened up to other people”, going on to say that this had been “both a privilege and a burden.”
Quite a privilege: The BHR deal with the Chinese staked his investment firm with $1.5 billion in working investment capital. The stint on the board of directors of Burisma paid him more than $1 million. In 2017 Eric Schwerin, Hunter’s former business partner with Rosemont Seneca Partners, sent Hunter an email (when Schwerin was Rosemont’s acting president) saying Hunter had to “amend [his] 2014 return to reflect the unreported Burisma income” totaling $400,000. That information was uncovered in December 2020 and led to the federal tax investigation Hunter is now facing.
And quite a burden: Hunter and ex-wife Kathleen Buhle had an IRS lien against them for a total of $112,805.09 in unpaid taxes from November 2019 until March 2020. A separate lien was placed on Hunter between July 9-July 15, 2020, for $453,890 in owed state income taxes to the DC government. He paid it off within that window.
Hunter’s various deals, all trading on the Biden family name and the authority that carried with it, were worth millions to him personally. He’s not alone.
Then there’s brother Frank Biden, who wasted no time cashing in on the Biden family name. In 2009, Joe made the first high-ranking official visit to Costa Rica since the Clinton Administration in 1997. Obama had just appointed Biden as the point man on Latin America, too. Shortly after the visit, Costa Rica News announced a new multilateral real estate partnership in the region: Guanacaste Country Club, a hotel and solar mini-city. Costa Rican government later entities signed deals with Biden’s company Sun Fund Americas, and the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation even authorized a $6.5 million taxpayer-funded loan. Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo himself wrote a letter in support of fundraising for the project, although he later denied ever meeting Frank. Sun Fund Americas also got government money for a solar project in Jamaica. Neither project has come to fruition, and investors haven’t received their money. When questioned about it, Frank has since denied that such a project existed.
Joe Biden promised that his administration wouldn’t tolerate conflicts of interest, but past experience and current issues do not reinforce that. Frank Biden’s law firm, Berman Law Group, of which he is a senior advisor, purchased a two-page advertisement in a local Florida paper, highlighting the brothers’ relationship. Press releases in November from lawsuits against China also underscore Frank’s relationship with Joe. The firm denies that Frank or Joe are involved in the cases.
Joe’s other brother, James, has been doing this since at least 2006. He and his nephew Hunter bought Paradigm Global Advisors (PGA) in 2006, through a holding company. James told investors on his first day in charge of the company “don’t worry about investors… We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden.” This comment was relayed anonymously to Politico by one of PGA’s previous executives.
Three former Paradigm executives said James and Hunter used then-Vice President Joe Biden’s ties to labor unions to land investments during the Obama administration. “I was told because of his relationships with the unions that they felt as though it would be favorably looked upon to invest in the fund as long as it was a good fund,” recalled former Paradigm President Charles Provini.
Reuters reported in 2009 that Paradigm Global Advisors created a $50 million joint hedge fund with Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, called the Paradigm Stanford Capital Management Core Alternative Fund. Companies affiliated with Stanford marketed the joint PSCMCAF to investors, successfully raking in $2.7m (according to a lawyer for Paradigm). Stanford at the time was facing SEC accusations of engaging in an $8b fraud case. In 2012, Stanford would receive a 110-year sentence for running a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme through Stanford Financial Group. The fund subsequently gave the $2.7 million back to investors.
The Bidens’ lawyer, Marc X. LoPresti, claimed that the Bidens had never met or communicated with Stanford: “There is no connection between the Bidens and Allen Stanford or Stanford period, full stop,” he said. “There never was any meeting between any member of the Biden family, no phone calls, zero correspondence.”
In 2005, James spent $150,000 on an acre of land in the Virgin Islands, which he subsequently divided into three. The next year, he sold off a parcel to lobbyist Steve Green for $150,000 who later gave James a mortgage loan on the remaining parcels. Green is an old college friend of both Bidens, having attended the University of Delaware at the same time as James and later worked for Biden when he was on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Green then founded lobbying firm Lafayette Group, often lobbying Congress on appropriations.
Then there’s Ashley Biden, and her husband Howard Krein, the chief medical officer of a health care venture capital firm called StartUp Health. Howard earned a spot on the Biden Cancer Initiative’s board of directors from 2017-2019. He also helped advise Biden’s presidential campaign on its health care policies during COVID pandemic.
Hari Prasad, the CEO of boutique tech firm Yosi Health turned to StartUp Health to introduce its software aimed at streamlining COVID vaccine efforts to government health officials. Prasad told ABC News the goal of working with StartUp Health was “to leverage their relationships and work with state and federal agencies,” and StartUp Health became an early investor in Yosi Health, alongside other healthcare companies. According to a report from StartUp Health, total health innovation funding for the first half of 2020 hit $9.1b investors, up 19% from the same period in 2019. As Steven Krein, Howard’s brother and CEO of StartUp Health, said, “Our community of entrepreneurs have introduced new health technology solutions to front line healthcare workers, caregivers, researchers and scientists, fellow innovators, patients and families at a scale and pace we would have said was impossible only eight weeks ago.”
Joe’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, served as the campaign manager for his past presidential campaigns, directing $2.5 million from “Citizens for Biden” and “Biden for President Inc.” to her own consulting firm during her brother’s 2008 presidential bid alone.
Her role as a senior partner in the political messaging firm Slade White & Company coincided with her participation in Biden’s various political campaigns. She was only one of two executives – the other being Joe Slade White – at the firm and has remained the Executive Vice President for 15 years. Keep in mind that Joe Slade White & Company worked for Biden campaigns over eighteen years.
In response to questions about any of this, when White House reporters even both to ask, White House press secretary Jen Psaki says “There’s not a single member of the family who is employed at the White House, will have an office in the White House of will benefit financially.”