Court reinstates fraud, conspiracy convictions of ex-Hunter Biden associate

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The 2018 conviction of a former business associate of Hunter Biden on securities fraud and conspiracy charges has been reinstated by a federal appeals court, according to reports.

In 2018, Archer and two others were convicted by a federal jury in Manhattan, but a judge later overturned the verdict against Archer while ordering a new trial, saying evidence did not prove he knew about the fraud scheme involving the sale of $60 million in bonds issued to a corporation affiliated with the Oglala Sioux Indian tribe, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Wednesday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that Devon Archer — who previously partnered with Biden and served together on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas firm, Burisma Holdings — “knew at least the general nature and extent of the scheme and intended to bring about its success,” according to the Journal.

Prosecutors said the proceeds were then misused by Archer and others. Attorneys for Archer had claimed during his trial that he actually lost money in the deal, according to the report.

“As the experienced federal judge who presided over Mr. Archer’s month-long trial determined, he ‘lacked the requisite intent’ and is thus innocent of the crimes charged,” Archer’s attorney, Matthew Schwartz, told the outlet. “Today’s ruling, which second-guesses the judge’s decision without having sat through the evidence and listened to the witnesses, is beyond disappointing.”

While Hunter Biden’s name was used during the fraud scheme to boost its legitimacy, the son of the Democratic presidential nominee wasn’t involved and was unaware of it, an attorney for Hunter Biden told the newspaper last year.

Federal prosecutors have also never accused Hunter Biden as being privy to the scheme, the newspaper reported in October.

Beginning in 2014, Archer and Hunter Biden served on Burisma’s board as Joe Biden oversaw US policy on the European country of roughly 42 million. Hunter has said his decision to do so was a “mistake,” while his father had repeatedly defended the move, saying “my son did nothing wrong,” Politico reported.

An attorney for Hunter Biden, as well as a spokesman for the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office, did not return a message seeking comment from the Wall Street Journal Thursday, according to the report.

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