EXCLUSIVE: Hunter Biden's business partner Devon Archer is sentenced to one year in prison for his role in defrauding Native American tribe - as emails reveal president's son had close ties to firm involved in the scheme but later distanced himself
Source: Daily Mail
Hunter Biden had close ties with a company that ran a fraudulent $60million scheme – for which his best friend has now been sentenced – emails obtained by DailyMail.com reveal.
Devon Archer, who has been close to the Bidens for decades, was sentenced to one year behind bars on Monday for his role in a complex scheme to defraud a Native American tribe.
Archer, 47, appeared for his sentencing hearing at the Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse in Lower Manhattan, where Judge Ronnie Abrams also ordered him to forfeit $15,700,513 and pay $43,427,436 in restitution.
Archer was convicted in 2018 alongside two of his business partners in the Burnham Financial Group for defrauding the Oglala Sioux Indian tribe out of the proceeds of bond sales.
During the trial it emerged that Hunter's name was used in literature promoting the scheme and was named as a witness.
Hunter Biden's (second from left) friend and business partner in his controversial deals with the Chinese, Devon Archer, (far right) was convicted in 2018 for his involvement in a $60million scheme to defraud a Native American tribe
Emails show the president's son, pictured last November, had close ties to Archer's company, Burnham Financial Group, and later tried to distance himself from it after some of its executives were charged in the scheme
At the time Hunter's lawyer said he knew nothing about it.
'The defendants invoked and used Hunter's name - without his knowledge - to lend their business venture more credibility,' attorney George Mesires said.
'As soon as Hunter learned of the illegal conduct, and that his name was being used in this unauthorized and inappropriate manner, Hunter took immediate steps to ensure that his business interests would not be associated with the Burnham Group or with any of the defendants.'
But emails show that Hunter, 52, was involved with other deals with the company and Archer throughout the period it was perpetrating the $60million fraud from 2014 to 2016.
Archer wrote to Hunter in September 2011 encouraging him to meet Bevan Cooney, one of the first to be jailed for the scheme, telling his best friend: 'I want to work with them' and 'I want you to meet Chad [another business associate] and Bevan. Our type of guys.'
In May 2014 Hunter wrote to Archer asking about their plan to sell his broker-dealer company Rosemont Seneca Partners to Burnham as part of their deal.
'Need to map out Burnham play and begin to move BD [broker-dealer] and Advisory team in that direction w/o revealing too much before anything is certain,' Hunter wrote to Archer.
Archer replied, saying they may face difficulties with financial regulators – but that his main concern was getting paid.
A 2014 slide deck presentation prepared for the Chinese investors and sent to Hunter lists Archer as 'managing partner and director'
The presentation alluded to Hunter's financial ties to Burnham and after noting that 'optics matter to win banking business', adds: 'H. Biden broker dealer tuck-under enhances relationships'
In a July 2014 email obtained by DailyMail.com, Archer further explained Hunter's proposed involvement, saying the deal would involve Burnham buying Hunter's financial firm Rosemont Seneca
'Agreed. Working on it from the Burnham side but hard to do anything before its (sic) closed and still risk of it not closing mostly from [financial watchdog] FINRA approval and mutual fund trustee board approval,' he said.
'The plan is clear and simple enough if I get into a control position on the board; affect an acquisition of the RSP BD [Rosemont Seneca Partners broker-dealer]. Need to figure out how I get compensation from that.'
The president's son soon began playing a pivotal role in Burnham's business, brokering a joint venture for the company with a giant Chinese investment firm called Bohai Harvest.
One of his business partners, James Bulger, spelled out his importance in an October 2014 email.
'Henry [Zhao, a Bohai executive] we believe, is still interested in doing the JV [joint venture] deal if a fair evaluation of Burnham can be agreed to and if YOU as a deal maker are inside Burnham,' Bulger wrote to Hunter.
He asked Hunter to tell Zhao that 'you look forward to meeting him' in the US and 'very keen on getting the Harvest/Burnham platform set up.'
'Henry holds you in very high regard Hunter so you bringing up these two important points and expressing your commitment to this JV is of high importance to us all,' Bulger added.
Archer wrote to Hunter in September 2011 encouraging him to meet Bevan Cooney, one of the first to be jailed for the Tribal Bonds scheme
Joe Biden (second from right) and his son, Hunter (far right), golfing in the Hamptons with Devon Archer (far left), who served on the board of Burisma with Hunter. The photo from 2014 emerged during the presidential campaign
The president's son's pivotal role in the deal was laid out in an email from one of his business partners, James Bulger, in October 2014. Bulger emphasizes the 'high importance' of Hunter's commitment
A 2014 slide deck presentation prepared for the Chinese investors and sent to Hunter lists Archer as 'managing partner and director', and alludes to Hunter's financial ties to Burnham.
After noting that 'optics matter to win banking business', the deck added in one bullet-point: 'H. Biden broker dealer tuck-under enhances relationships'.
Archer further explained Hunter's proposed involvement in a July 2014 email, saying that the deal would involve Burnham buying Hunter's financial firm Rosemont Seneca.
'Basic idea is fund an acquisition of $6 billion AUM PPLI business through a consolidated Burnham which would buy our BD as a subsequent, what we're calling, 'strategic H Biden tuck in.' Archer wrote.
'Looks like a great plan,' Hunter replied.
According to his Rosemont business partner Eric Schwerin's emails to Hunter, the president's son reported earnings of $166,666 from Burnham on his 2015 tax return.
In March 2016 Hunter wrote to Zhao confirming the Bohai-Burnham deal went through.
Thornton Group Chairman James Bulger (first from left), Rosemont Seneca Chairman Hunter Biden (third from left), Hillhouse Capital founder Zhang Lei (fourth from left), Rosemont Seneca CEO Devon Archer (second from right)
In April 2016 his lawyer George Mesires sent Hunter a list of 'government questions' including 'who brought [the] Burnham deal to the table?'
On May 11, 2016, Rosemont business partner Eric Schwerin reassured Hunter that there were 'no allegations you had anything to do with this only that you do business together'
'I am so glad to hear that we have concluded our joint venture between Harvest and Burnham,' he said. 'I have no doubt that this working relationship will continue as we go forward.'
But just weeks later, Hunter faced questions from federal law enforcement who were closing in on the Burnham executives' fraud.
In April 2016 his lawyer George Mesires sent Hunter a list of 'government questions' including 'who brought [the] Burnham deal to the table?', the 'nature of [his] relationship with Burnham Asset Management?' and why he was paid $248,000 in 'sporadic and varying amounts' through indirect wires to another company.
Jason Galanis was one of the masterminds behind the fraud scheme and is currently in prison for fraud
In May that year scandal erupted when the SEC charged Archer and other Burnham executives Jason Galanis and Cooney with selling fake bonds. Hunter was not named in the prosecutors' complaint.
Prosecutors said Galanis, his father John 'Yanni' Galanis, Gary Hirst, Hugh Dunkerley, Bevan Cooney, Devon Archer and Michelle Morton lied to the Oglala Sioux tribe from March 2014 through April about how proceeds from its bonds would be invested.
The government alleged that Galanis and the others spent most of the proceeds on homes, cars, travel, designer clothing like Gucci, Prada, Valentino and jewelry.
It said they duped investors into buying the bonds as well. Galanis was charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit investment adviser fraud and investment adviser fraud.
A worried-sounding Hunter wrote to Schwerin and Mesires asking whether they should 'push back harder' against a Wall Street Journal story about the arrests that described Hunter's connections with Archer.
'There are no allegations you had anything to do with this only that you do business together. Still not good but not sure how we push back without inviting more questions,' Schwerin replied.
The pair hired a former spin doctor for Joe Biden, Robert Hoopes, to try to persuade journalists to leave them out of stories about Burnham's fraud.
Jason's brother, Derek Galanis, 49, (left) wrote a book about his decades of experience with his father's criminal enterprises called Greed and Fear: The Galanis Crime Family
The masterminds of the fraudulent tribal bonds scheme were Jason Galanis and his father John, accused serial fraudsters with alleged ties to mobsters including the infamous Gambino crime family, according to Jason's brother Derek.
'I grew up with Bevan, I obviously grew up with my brother. Tommy Gambino and Tony Gambino were always around us,' Derek told DailyMail.com.
Derek, 49, wrote a book about his decades of experience with his father's criminal enterprises called Greed and Fear: The Galanis Crime Family.
He said his brother and father were excited when Hunter agreed to get involved in the Burnham business.
'His name was paraded around the house. They would talk about Hunter every second,' Derek said.
Derek said that he never heard any explicit conversations about Hunter being aware of the Galanis' fraudulent intentions.
Hunter and his lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.