Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to tax charges in LA

(Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to tax charges in LA

Matt Hamilton

January 11, 2024

Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, pleaded not guilty Thursday in downtown Los Angeles to federal tax charges, one of two criminal cases filed after the collapse of a plea deal that would have avoided a trial during the 2024 campaign season .

Biden, a Malibu resident, was charged last month in California with nine tax crimes, including failing to pay his taxes on time from 2016 to 2019, filing false and fraudulent tax returns in 2018 and tax evasion. The charges cover a period when Biden, 53, was addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine and, as detailed in a 56-page indictment, spent lavishly on hotels, drugs, cars and adult entertainment.

Appears in a navy blue suit and tie,

Biden stood next to his attorney, Abbe Lowell, and made his case before U.S. District Judge Mark Scarsi. Before he was appointed


the federal bank

former president

Trump, Scarsi was a prominent intellectual property attorney in LA.

“You are here today because you have been charged by the United States with a criminal offense,” Scarsi told Biden at the start of the 30-minute hearing, later asking: “Have you had an opportunity to review the charges?” “Yes, your honor,” Biden responded. Later, a judge’s clerk asked Biden: “How do you plead counts 1 through 9 in the indictment? Guilty or not guilty?” “Not guilty,” Biden said.

Biden’s case attracted legions


from all over the world, with TV crews stationed outside the First Street US Courthouse downtown at night.

The court hearing comes a day after Biden surprised lawmakers on Capitol Hill by arriving at a hearing where Republican congressional leaders urged the president’s son to be held in contempt. Last month, instead of being questioned behind closed doors in response to a subpoena, Biden spoke out


and promised to testify only in an open hearing, to prevent selective leaks of his testimony.

Republicans don’t want an open process where Americans can see their tactics, expose their baseless investigations, or hear what I have to say. What are they afraid of? Biden told reporters this in December. 13.

Contempt charges against Biden were passed in the House of Representatives Oversight and Judiciary committees, with unanimous Republican support and all Democrats opposed.

The tax case in LA and a separate criminal case in Delaware on charges that Biden lied on a federal firearms form when he swore he was not addicted to drugs were both filed after a plea deal fell through.

last year.

Under that deal, he would have received two years’ probation for pleading guilty to tax charges and would have avoided prosecution in the firearms case under a diversion agreement.

Biden has also pleaded not guilty to the Delaware firearms case, and his legal team led by Abbe Lowell has moved to dismiss these charges as unconstitutional, the result of a vindictive and politically motivated prosecution, and ruled out by the diversion agreement that was part of the plea deal. Biden’s lawyers argue that the agreement is still valid and binding; prosecutors disagree.

During Thursday’s hearing, Scarsi, the judge, noted that he had reviewed the pending motions in the Delaware case and added: “I would not be surprised if the same issues raised in Delaware are raised here stated.”

In the tax case, prosecutors allege Biden willfully failed to file and pay his taxes on time to the Internal Revenue Service, and instead forked out cash for a bacchanal across LA involving drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing and other items of a personal nature.

Prosecutors allege that when preparing 2020 tax returns in the early months of his sobriety, Biden misclassified a long list of personal expenses from 2018 as business expenses to reduce his tax burden. According to the indictment, these expenses included tuition for his daughter and a Venmo payment to an exotic dancer.

If Biden is convicted of all charges on six felonies and three felonies, he could face a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison, although federal guidelines would call for a much shorter sentence.

But the case is still complicated for prosecutors. First, Biden has already paid off his tax debt, largely with the help of loans from a wealthy LA entertainment lawyer-turned-close friend, Kevin Morris. Second, the charges occurred during a period when Biden was dealing with highly publicized addiction issues.

His lawyers are expected to point to his highly publicized addiction to explain his chaotic financial affairs and that, once sober, he was able to pay off his taxes plus penalties and interest.

In his letter last month, Biden acknowledged his mistakes and mishandling of his affairs but scoffed at what appear to be baseless allegations that his father profited from his son’s business activities.

At the depths of my addiction, I was extremely irresponsible with my finances. But it is absurd to suggest that there are grounds for an impeachment inquiry. It’s shameless. There is no evidence to support allegations that my father was financially involved in my company because this did not happen,” Biden said in December.


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