Hunter Biden faces up to 17 years behind bars as he is charged over tax evasion

8 December 2023, 10:01

Hunter Biden has been indicted on nine tax charges in California
Hunter Biden has been indicted on nine tax charges in California. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Hunter Biden is facing up to 17 years behind bars after being charged over tax evasion.

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The nine-count indictment said Mr Biden schemed to evade at least $1.4m (£1.1m) in federal taxes between 2016 and 2019.

He was hit with three felony and six misdemeanour tax offences, including failure to file and pay taxes, false tax return and evasion of assessment.

He faces up to 17 years in prison if he is convicted.

It comes after Mr Biden was indicted in September on firearm charges in Delaware - but his lawyer has argued that the new charges are politically motivated.

In October, he pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied about his drug use while buying a handgun.

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"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 instead spent huge amounts "on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature".

Mr Biden's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement that he had repaid his taxes in full and accused US Special Counsel David Weiss of reneging on a previous agreement.

"If Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought," US media quoted Lowell as saying.

Prosecutors said that between 2016 and October 2020, Mr Biden received more than $7 million in total gross income - $2.3 million of which from his position on the board of directors of Burisma.

"The Defendant had a legal obligation to pay taxes on all his income, including income earned in Ukraine from his service on Burisma's Board, fees generated by deal-making with the Chinese private equity fund, as well as income derived from his work as a lawyer and other sources," the indictment said.

The filing went on to say that as the 53-year-old's income increased, so did his spending.

In 2018 alone, he "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".

"The Defendant did not use any of these funds to pay his taxes in 2018," the indictment said.

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