Tax fraud charges: Hunter Biden pleads not guilty

DThe son of US President Joe Biden, accused of tax fraud, pleaded not guilty in court. Hunter Biden appeared in federal court in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday, a journalist for the AFP news agency reported on its website. Asked by Judge Mark Scarsi whether he would plead guilty or not guilty, the 53-year-old replied: “Not guilty, your honor.”

The next court date was scheduled for March 27. Judge Scarsi said he plans to start the trial on June 20. Hunter Biden remains free under certain conditions. He is not allowed to own a firearm or consume alcohol or drugs.

‘Millions spent on extravagant lifestyles’

The former lawyer, lobbyist and businessman were indicted in December. He is accused of nine counts of, among other things, evading federal taxes over several years. The indictment says the president’s son failed to pay at least $1.4 million (nearly €1.3 million) in federal taxes for tax years 2016-2019.

“Instead of paying taxes, the defendant spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle,” the indictment states. If convicted, Biden faces, at least in theory, a long prison sentence.

Hunter Biden was already charged with illegal weapons possession in mid-September. He is accused of briefly possessing a revolver in 2018 even though he was prohibited from doing so as a drug user. Biden, who has been open about his former drug addiction, also pleaded not guilty in the trial.

The president’s son is in the crosshairs of not only the judiciary, but also opposition Republicans. They accuse him of using his father’s important position as Barack Obama’s vice president in the past to do business in Ukraine and China. These charges are at the center of the opposition party’s impeachment proceedings against the president. However, so far they have failed to provide any evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Joe Biden.

Democrats accuse Republicans of a political maneuver to damage the incumbent president ahead of the November presidential election and seek revenge for the two impeachments of former President Donald Trump.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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