Hunter Biden still appears to hold an ownership stake in a Chinese government-linked investment firm despite repeated pledges from President Joe Biden that his family would not have any foreign business ties.
The troubled son of Joe Biden still holds a 10% equity stake in Bohai Harvest RST (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Company, according to Chinese business records. Hunter Biden has reportedly been under criminal investigation as far back as 2018 as federal authorities scrutinize his taxes and potentially his foreign business dealings, and the 51-year-old’s financial transactions with China might be at the forefront.
That’s despite White House press secretary Jen Psaki in February saying the president’s son “has been working to unwind” his 10% stake in the firm.
Through one of his lawyers, George Mesires, Hunter Biden had promised to leave the board of the Chinese firm by the end of October 2019, but his resignation was submitted to China’s National Credit Information Publicity System in the spring of 2020. Three Chinese business websites, run by Baidu, Qixin, and QCC, all show updates with Hunter Biden’s name being removed from the BHR board of directors in April 2020, but the sites also currently show a limited liability corporation, Skaneateles, owned solely by Hunter Biden, as still being a “sponsor/shareholder” with 3 million yuan ($464,000) invested in the company, purportedly comprising a 10% stake in the China-based business venture.
The business records for Skaneateles found on the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs website list Hunter Biden as the “executing officer” of the company, and the address for the LLC is a multimillion-dollar home in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles. That is where the Washington Examiner previously reported Hunter Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen, had been renting a $12,000-a-month home. A report in June said Hunter had moved on from the rental.
Business records show that U.S.-based Thornton Group and Ulysses Diversified each also holds a 10% stake in BHR, as does China-based Angju Investment Consulting (Shanghai) Company. Two Chinese companies, Bohai Industry Investment Fund Management and Shanghai Fengshi Financial Services, are listed as owning 30% of BHR each.
A review of BHR’s financial documents, including 2019 company board meeting minutes found on Hunter Biden’s purported laptop and provided to the Washington Examiner by former Steve Bannon War Room podcast co-host Jack Maxey, show the firm had access to tens or hundreds of millions of dollars for Chinese and global investments and purchases, invested in multiple Chinese companies now sanctioned by the United States, and set up a complicated web of China-based and Cayman Island shell companies and subsidiaries.
The Daily Caller noted that “BHR’s business records with NCIPS were updated in April 2020 to reflect Hunter Biden’s departure from its board less than one week after the Daily Caller News Foundation reported that month that his name was still listed as a member of the firm’s board at the time.”
Mesires reached out to the Washington Post a few days after the April 2020 article was published, with Glenn Kessler sharing a letter from BHR’s CEO Jonathan Li, which said: “Mr. Robert Hunter Biden no longer serves as an unpaid director on the board of Bohai Harvest RST (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Co., Ltd. effective from October 2019.”
Yet, it appears that Hunter Biden still has a substantial financial stake in the Chinese company. BHR and Mesires did not respond to the Washington Examiner’s questions about whether Hunter Biden would relinquish his holdings in the Chinese firm.
Mesires wrote a lengthy post on Medium in mid-October 2019, claiming that Hunter Biden “neither played a role in the formation or licensure of” BHR “nor owned any equity in it while his father was Vice President.” Hunter Biden’s lawyer said his client “served only as a member of its board of directors, which he joined based on his interest in seeking ways to bring Chinese capital to international markets” and that “it was an unpaid position.”
“BHR was capitalized with 30 million renminbi (RMB), or approximately $4.2 million USD at today’s currency exchange rates,” Mesires said. “In October 2017, Hunter committed to invest approximately $420,000 USD (as of 10/12/2019) to acquire a 10% equity position in BHR, which he still holds. To date, Hunter has not received any compensation for being on BHR’s board of directors.”
BHR’s website lists an office in Beijing and brags that the company “is the designated cross-border investment platform of Bohai Industrial Investment Fund and benefits from the support of its Chinese stakeholders including the Bank of China and China Development Bank Capital” and that it “collaborates with Chinese companies in overseas mergers and acquisitions in the high-end manufacturing, healthcare, artificial intelligence and natural resources sectors.”
Joe Biden said in December that “my son, my family will not be involved in any business, any enterprise, that is in conflict with or appears to be in conflict, with the appropriate distance from, the presidency and government.” He promised during an Iowa campaign event in October 2019 that “no one in my family will have an office in the White House, will sit in on meetings as if they are a Cabinet member, will, in fact, have any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or a foreign country — period, period, end of story.”
Hunter Biden claimed in his recent memoir, Beautiful Things, that “I became a proxy for Donald Trump’s fear that he wouldn’t be reelected. He pushed debunked conspiracy theories about work I did in Ukraine and China.” Although he devoted a chapter to defending his work for Burisma, he largely dodged the controversy surrounding his Chinese deal-making.
Biden wrote that in 2013, the then-vice president asked his son’s teenage daughter to join him on Air Force Two to Japan and then to Beijing, where he was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Hunter Biden said he tagged along to China to spend time with his father and daughter. At the time, Hunter Biden was working with Devon Archer at Rosemont Seneca, and “our deal with the biggest potential was a partnership with a Chinese private equity fund seeking to invest Chinese capital in companies outside the country.” This was a reference to Hunter Biden’s efforts to get BHR off the ground.
Hunter Biden wrote, “While we were in Beijing, Dad met one of Devon’s Chinese partners, Jonathan Li, in the lobby of the American delegation’s hotel, just long enough to say hello and shake hands. I was meeting with Li as a courtesy call while I was in the country; the business deal had been signed more than a week earlier. Li and I then headed off for a cup of coffee.” Biden lamented, “And that was that — until Trump declared I walked out of China with $1.5 billion. It’s a figure that was plucked from a statement made by a company official at the time who said that was the amount the firm hoped eventually to raise. The actual amount raised before that trip to China: $4.2 million. I had no equity in the company at the time and only bought a 10 percent stake after my father left office.”
The Daily Caller reported in December that Hunter Biden “was repeatedly told by his business partner that he would begin receiving significant payments from a Chinese private equity firm starting in 2019.”
Hunter Biden’s dealings in China do not stop there.
When Patrick Ho, one of Chinese energy tycoon Ye Jianming’s lieutenants, was charged by the Justice Department in 2017, the first call he reportedly made after his arrest was to Joe Biden’s brother James, who has said he thought the call was meant for Hunter. Ho was indicted and convicted for his role in a global money laundering and bribery scheme.
A Senate GOP report from September concluded that Hunter Biden also “opened a bank account with” CEFC deputy Gongwen Dong to fund a $100,000 global spending spree with James Biden and James’s wife, Sara.
In 2017, former business partner Tony Bobulinski worked with James and Hunter Biden and others to create a business dubbed Sinohawk, formed to establish a joint venture with CEFC. Bobulinski repeatedly expressed in 2017 messages that he expected the venture to get off the ground with $10 million in startup money from CEFC. A Senate GOP report concluded that millions of dollars were sent by CEFC to accounts linked to James and Hunter Biden instead.