Hunter Biden indicted for second time on tax evasion charges

Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, departs the J Caleb Boggs Federal Building on July 26, 2023, in Wilmington, Delaware. — AFP/File Hunter Biden, who is the son of US President Joe Biden, faces tax charges from federal authorities, making it the second criminal case as according to the nine-count indictment, he plotted to avoid paying at least $1.4 million (£1.1 million) in federal taxes between 2016 and 2019. 

The three felonies and six misdemeanours consist of tax evasion, filing fraudulent tax returns, and failing to file and pay taxes, the BBC reported.

Hunter Biden in September was charged in September on federal firearms charges in Delaware. However, the 53-year-old son has already pleaded not guilty in the gun case. 

The White House did not comment on the new charges on Thursday night which comes as congressional Republicans place Hunter Biden’s business dealings at the centre of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, who is seeking re-election next year.

If convicted in the tax case, Hunter Biden could face up to 17 years in prison.

Prosecutors allege he spent his money on “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes”.

The indictment says that the president’s son “individually received more than $7 million in total gross income” between 2016 and mid-October 2020, but “willfully failed to pay his 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 taxes on time, despite having access to funds to pay some or all of these taxes”.

Since 2019, Hunter’s purported criminal activity has been investigated by US Department of Justice Special Counsel David Weiss.

He brought charges in Delaware against Hunter Biden after the unravelling of an earlier proposed plea deal that had called for him to plead guilty to two misdemeanour tax charges for failing to pay taxes in 2017 and 2018, an agreement which likely would have allowed him to avoid prison.

The planned plea agreement was turned down in July by US District Judge Maryellen Noreika, who expressed doubts about its validity and the extent of the immunity it provided.

The front-runner for the Republican Party’s nomination in the upcoming presidential election, Donald Trump, said that the plea agreement amounted to preferential treatment for the president’s son.

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