Hunter Biden hit with federal charges for tax evasion scheme

  • World
  • Friday, 08 Dec 2023

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, walks with family members in Nantucket, Massachusetts, U.S, November 24, 2023. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/ File Photo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -The Department of Justice on Thursday filed new criminal charges against U.S. President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, accusing him of failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes while spending millions of dollars on a lavish lifestyle.

Hunter Biden was hit with three felony and six misdemeanor tax offenses, according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Central California.

He faces up to 17 years in prison if convicted on the charges. The Justice Department said its investigation into Biden is ongoing.

"The Defendant engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019," the indictment read.

It added that he had "spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills."

A spokesperson for Special Counsel David Weiss and a lawyer for Hunter Biden did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Thursday's indictment stated that Hunter Biden had "earned handsomely" while serving on the boards of a Ukrainian industrial conglomerate and a Chinese private equity fund.

But his expenditures increased as his income increased, according to the charges.

In 2018 alone, the indictment read, Hunter Biden "spent more than $1.8 million, including approximately $772,000 in cash withdrawals, approximately $383,000 in payments to women, approximately $151,000 in clothing and accessories" among other expenditures.

The indictment added: "The Defendant did not use any of these funds to pay his taxes in 2018."

Hunter Biden in October pleaded not guilty to charges in Delaware that he lied about his drug use while buying a handgun, in the first criminal prosecution of a sitting U.S. president's child.

Weiss brought those charges against him after an earlier proposed plea deal unraveled under questioning from a judge. Weiss is still investigating whether he can be charged for tax law violations.

The special counsel investigating Hunter Biden has employed a grand jury in Los Angeles to seek documents and possible testimony from multiple witnesses as part of the federal investigation of his business dealings, CNN reported last month.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Jasper Ward in Washington, Noeleen Walder in New York, Andrew Goudsward in Washington and Brad Brooks in Longmont, Colorado; Editing by Eric Beech, Ross Colvin and Edwina Gibbs)

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