Accountants in the US will warn you about unreported income in tax filings. While expenses may be disputable, not reporting income leaves little leeway, and will, depending on the amount, earn you free board and lodging at the government’s expense in accommodations not of your choice.
That is unless you are Hunter Biden, the President’s son who has just pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor (not a felony) and has been given the proverbial slap on the wrist. Reason magazine calls it a sweetheart deal and if it’s not, then everyone should be treated with the same leniency.
Two Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officers, Gary Shapley, a supervisory official agent, and Joseph Ziegler, a criminal investigator, have now in disgust blown the whistle on the whole affair.
With 14 years of experience, Shapley is a team leader in the International Tax and Financial Crimes group that is responsible for the IRS investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes.
Mr. Ziegler, whose identity was finally revealed when he testified a few days ago (July 19) has worked for 13 years in the IRS Criminal Investigation Division that initiated the initial inquiry into Hunter Biden’s 2017 tax return.
The investigation is headed by the US Attorney for Delaware, David Weiss, who was retained in his position by the newly elected President Biden — possibly because of the impropriety of discharging a US Attorney who was also looking into Joe Biden’s finances. These Joe and Hunter (father and son) investigations were subsequently merged. Yes, it’s a complicated story.
The two whistleblowers accuse the Delaware US Attorney’s Office of persistently blocking the investigation and making decisions to benefit the President and his son. Thus when they sought to search the President’s Wilmington home, where Hunter Biden also kept some of his financial records, the request was denied by Lesley Wolf citing “optics”. She is the Assistant US Attorney in the Delaware office.
She also prevented the investigators from interviewing the President’s adult grandchildren who had been claimed as dependents on Hunter Biden’s tax return. Worse, she let Mr. Biden’s lawyers know that the investigators were interested in a Virginia storage unit where some of the documents were kept, allowing the lawyers prior access.
The IRS investigation was concluded in 2021 with a recommendation to charge Hunter Biden with tax fraud felonies. These are very serious charges that carry prison time. The government attorneys took no action. Although he has since backtracked, at an October 7, 2022 meeting the Delaware US Attorney David Weiss told the IRS it was not his call to prosecute. That Mr. Shapley noted was his “red line,” namely to allow the President’s political appointees to decide. Ultimately nothing happened and the statute of limitations was allowed to expire on Hunter Biden’s earlier 2014 and 2015 tax returns even though prosecutors could have sought an extension.
But as they say, there is more. Hunter Biden had to fill out federal Form 4073 to purchase a firearm. “Knowing he was an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance” in the words of the US Attorney’s Office, he still lied on the form to obtain the gun as a prohibited person.
Part of his plea deal allows him to enter a pre-trial diversion agreement at a procedure to be scheduled by the assigned US District Court judge. Such an agreement diverts him out of the criminal justice system into a supervised release or probation. All of this has to be approved by the judge and then he has to be sentenced. Probation and likely fines, yes, but he has escaped prison. The tax charges alone could have given him a year in jail and the firearm violations up to 10 years.
Has Hunter Biden had problems? That’s for sure! Sympathy for a crack head? People will have differing opinions.