As Joe Biden is preparing to take office as President of the United States, it has been confirmed that a financial investigation is ongoing into the tax affairs of his son, Hunter.
This is embarrassing for the president-elect, as he is currently deciding who will be his nominee for Attorney General – the person who will oversee the Justice Department investigating Hunter.
When Hunter Biden confirmed the probe, he said he was confident that a “professional and objective review of the matter” would demonstrate that he had handled his affairs legally.
There are potentially other matters to investigate, including whether Hunter Biden and his associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings with foreign countries, principally China.
However, the controversy-plagued Hunter has not only had his finances scrutinised over business dealings but also about his 2017 divorce and a recent paternity suit brought by the mother of one of his children.
According to the investigator who assisted Lunden Roberts in her paternity case against Mr Biden, he has agreed to pay her $2.5 million even though he claimed late in 2019 to have been unemployed, in debt and without a regular income.
In addition, lawyers for Ms Roberts said in January this year that Mr Biden failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to turn over documents dating back five years, as part of her request for child-support payments for her then-16-month-old child. Those documents included “a list of all sources of income”, copies of tax returns, and a list of companies in which he had an ownership interest.
Despite those claims, paperwork filed by Ms Roberts’ attorney also said that Mr Biden, who also has a seven-month-old baby with new wife Melissa, is estimated to be worth $156million.
Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “In any financial investigation, investigators look at income and its provenance. It can often be illuminating to compare what an individual has said in one set of legal proceedings and compare it with what has been said at other times in other contexts.
“US tax authorities may well take an interest at what Hunter Biden has said in the context of the family proceedings and the family court may well try to find out what evidence he has given to the tax authorities.
If there any inconsistencies are found, they are likely to be subject to particularly careful forensic scrutiny and may well be subject to expert accountancy evidence.”