Patrick Ho CEFC China Energy conviction in New York, ties to Hunter Biden
(Oct 1 article / part 1 of 2)
ANALYSIS: Hunter Biden tied to China firm with questionable dealings (Oct 1, 2019)
A high-ranking Chinese businessman was charged by the Justice Department with global corruption and bribery in 2017, and the first call he made after his arrest was to Vice President Joe Biden’s brother, James Biden, who thinks the call was meant for Joe’s son, Hunter.
Patrick Ho, the lieutenant to the founder of the multibillion-dollar Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy, was indicted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the Southern District of New York for his role in a global money laundering and bribery scheme aimed at government officials in Africa. The Justice Department also accused Ho of helping with Iranian sanctions evasion and working to use the Chinese company’s connections to sell weaponry to Chad, Libya, and Qatar.
Ho immediately tried reaching out to the younger Biden for help because that summer, as investigators circled, Hunter agreed to represent Ho as part of Hunter’s efforts to work out a liquefied natural gas deal worth tens of millions of dollars with CEFC China Energy’s leader Ye Jianming.
The vice president’s financier brother said he was surprised by the call from Ho but told the Chinese businessman how to get in touch with his nephew.
“There is nothing else I have to say,” James Biden told the New York Times in 2018. “I don’t want to be dragged into this anymore.”
The lucrative deal Hunter Biden set up with CEFC China Energy fell apart when Ye disappeared after being detained by Chinese authorities in 2018, and Ho was sentenced to three years in federal prison in March.
Although much of the scrutiny of Hunter Biden’s global business dealings focuses on his controversial $50,000-per-month position with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings at the same time then-Vice President Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, his dealings with Chinese businessmen could cause the 2020 Democratic front-runner serious headaches, too.
Kathleen Biden, the younger Biden’s now-ex-wife, accused him in divorce filings of “spending extravagantly on his own interests (including drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs, and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations), while leaving the family with no funds to pay legitimate bills.” The filing also discusses a "large" diamond, worth $80,000, he claimed he no longer had. In a later interview, Hunter said the diamond — which he claimed was only worth $10,000 — was a gift from Ye.
Ye, who had ties to the Chinese Communist Party and told Caixin Global that his company “aims to serve the [Chinese] state’s strategy,” was on a mission to make inroads among powerful Democrats and Republicans, setting his sights on the former vice president's son, who served on the board of World Food Program USA, a nonprofit organization that raises money for the United Nations World Food Programme. Biden said he hoped Ye would make a major donation to the fund but also offered to help Ye find investment opportunities inside the United States.