Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, has been charged with two misdemeanor tax offenses and one felony firearm offense by the United States attorney for Delaware.
Hunter Biden, who’s been the focus of a national uproar about his finances and the contents of his laptop, had agreed to enter a plea of guilty to the tax offenses and enter a pre-trial diversion agreement about the firearm charge.
Hunter Biden is charged with two violations of failure to pay income tax and one violation of unlawful possession of a firearm by a person prohibited.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison on each of the tax charges and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the firearm charge.
Many cases like this are settled without jail time. The press release from U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss points out that sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties and are determined by a federal district court judge based on sentencing guidelines and other factors.
The court records show Hunter Biden received taxable income in excess of $1,500,000 annually in calendar years 2017 and 2018. Despite owing in excess of $100,000 in federal income taxes each year, he did not pay the income tax due for either year. The court records do not name the source of the income.
According to the firearm information, from on or about Oct. 12, 2018 through Oct. 23, 2018, Hunter Biden possessed a firearm despite knowing he was an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance.
A pretrial diversion program is designed to resolve a criminal case and usually involved the defendant avoiding jail time and a criminal conviction. Hunter Biden’s pre-trial diversion agreement on the firearm charge will be dealt with at a proceeding to be scheduled by the assigned United States District Court judge, the press release said.
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat, said the charges come at the end of a “five-year-long thorough investigation by a Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney.”
“From press accounts, I am encouraged that Hunter is taking responsibility for his actions, paying the taxes that he owes, and preparing to move on with his life,” Coons said.
Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat, later echoed Coons’ comment, saying the investigation was “free from political interference.”
“This is how the rule of law works,” Carper’s statement said. “Hunter Biden is a private citizen and I am encouraged that he is taking responsibility for his actions.”
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience.
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