A federal appeals court in New York recently upheld a bribery conviction of a Chinese businessman, Patrick Ho, a close associate of Hunter Biden. Ho was the head of a think tank funded by Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC, which had close ties to Joe Biden’s son. A three-panel judge found Ho guilty of offering bribes to the presidents of Uganda and Chad in a conspiracy involving the United Nations.
CEFC was founded by the Chinese oil tycoon Ye Jianming, who also had close ties with Hunter Biden. CEFC wanted to gain oil drilling rights in Uganda and Chad. Ho was secretary-general of an NGO called China Energy Fund Committee, which was backed by CEFC. The NGO had offices in Hong Kong and Virginia.
In 2018, Ho was convicted on charges of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by offering bribes to the leaders of the African nations in exchange for oil rights. In 2019, Ho was sentenced by a U.S. District judge to three years in prison. Ho’s lawyer insisted that the payments he made to African nationals were not bribes but “charitable donations.” The appeal argued that there was no evidence linking Ho to any violation of the law. However, the appeals court disagreed.
“We conclude that the evidence introduced at trial was more than sufficient to prove that Ho acted on behalf of the US NGO to assist it in obtaining business for CEFC Energy. Contrary to Ho’s assertion that “at most a reasonable juror could find that . . . [he] worked for” the Hong Kong-based CEFC NGO… the government presented ample evidence demonstrating that the US NGO operated as an arm of CEFC NGO and that Ho’s actions in furtherance of the scheme were conducted in his capacity as officer or director of the US arm to steer business to CEFC Energy,” Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan stated in his ruling.
The New York Post reported that Ho agreed to pay $1 million to Hunter Biden
Based on a report released by the Senate Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Finance Committee in September, Hunter Biden’s law firm received $1 million in March 2018 to cover Ho’s legal expenses. The New York Post stated that Ho agreed to pay $1 million to Hunter Biden as a retainer for advising him on U.S. law matters. In addition to the $1 million received for Ho’s legal expenses, Hunter’s law firm also received $5 million from CEFC in 2017 for consulting fees. While Hunter’s law firm was receiving money from Jianming, he transferred money to his father’s brother James Biden’s consultancy firm, Lion Hall Group.
The September Senate report also highlighted Hunter’s dealings with Ukrainian Energy firm Burisma. It was an “awkward” issue for the U.S officials who were executing an anti-corruption agenda in the country.
“The Obama administration knew that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board was problematic and did interfere in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine. Moreover, this investigation has illustrated the extent to which officials within the Obama administration ignored the glaring warning signs when the vice president’s son joined the board of a company owned by a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch… Hunter Biden was not the only Biden who cashed in on Joe Biden’s vice presidency,” the report said.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson believes that the public exposure of the Biden family’s dealings with foreign entities, such as Hunter’s ties with CEFC and Burisma, is a good thing for the United States. Foreign countries can no longer use such information to blackmail the Bidens and compromise American security. However, Johnson admitted that he didn’t know “what else is lurking out there.”