Fox News reports the mainstream media has downplayed another scandal involving former Vice President Joe Biden’s family.
A new report revealed legal problems and allegations of possible fraud involving former Biden’s brother, James, on Monday – but anyone who relies on the mainstream media would have no idea.
In the latest instance of the Democratic primary front-runner’s family members’ dealings drawing scrutiny amid his presidential bid, James Biden’s business with medical companies – including Americore Health – led to allegations that he potentially engaged in fraud and traded on his brother’s name, Politico reported early Monday.
CNN and MSNBC completely ignored the story on air through Tuesday afternoon. ABC, NBC and CBS skipped the story on their evening and morning newscasts, too.
Several prominent members of the mainstream media have been accused of favoring Biden over Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Media Research Center’s NewsBusters, which first reported that network newscasts have skipped the story about Biden’s brother, wrote that “nets are doing their best to bury the scandal.”
James Biden reportedly convinced Americore that he could use his political clout to deliver a significant influx of cash in the form of an investment from the Middle East and even convinced the company to take on financial burdens including a six-figure loan to James that he has yet to repay.
James Biden, Americore and Americore founder Grant White are among those now facing a lawsuit from medical companies in Tennessee federal court accusing them of fraud over alleged promises made. Biden and the other defendants have denied any wrongdoing, but the plaintiffs last month reportedly said in a court filing that they were willing to drop their claims against White, who had provided exculpatory evidence as well as information that further implicated Biden and others.
James Biden’s attorney, George Mesires, did not immediately respond to a request from Fox News for comment.
James Biden is the latest member of the Biden family whose business ventures have surfaced as Joe Biden progresses towards possibly becoming the Democratic presidential nominee.
Video From August 2019:
Ben Schreckinger of Politico reports the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided a health care business linked to Joe Biden’s brother in late January, seizing boxes of documents.
The raid of an Americore Health hospital represented a deepening of the legal morass surrounding James Biden’s recent venture into health care investing at a time when questions about the business dealings of Joe Biden’s relatives, and their alleged connection to the former vice president’s public service, continue to dog his presidential campaign.
In the weeks since the raid, two small medical firms that did business with James Biden have claimed in civil court proceedings to have obtained evidence that he may have fraudulently transferred funds from Americore “outside of the ordinary course of business,” and a former Americore executive has told POLITICO that James Biden had more than half a million dollars transferred to him from the firm as a personal loan that has not yet been repaid.
The purpose of the Jan. 30 raid of an Ellwood City, Pa., hospital remains unclear, and there is no indication it was related to the actions of Biden’s younger brother, who has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing. Its owner, Americore, has faced legal problems and allegations of mismanagement that are unrelated to James Biden.
But recent filings in ongoing legal proceedings, along with new accounts provided to POLITICO by former executives of Americore and others, point to potential pitfalls for the former vice president, painting the fullest picture to date of James Biden’s health care dealings and the ways in which they allegedly related to his older brother. In 2017 and 2018, James Biden was embarking on a foray into health care investing, telling potential partners, including at Americore, that his last name could open doors and that Joe Biden was excited about the public policy implications of their business models, according to court filings and interviews with James’ former business contacts.
Tom Pritchard, a former Americore executive familiar with the business’ finances, told POLITICO that James Biden’s arrival exacerbated Americore’s financial problems. Holding out the promise of a large investment from the Middle East based on his political connections, James Biden introduced Americore’s founder to his older brother and helped land a bridge loan to Americore from a hedge fund, Pritchard said. But then, Pritchard said, James Biden received a six-figure personal loan out of Americore’s coffers while encouraging the firm to take on greater financial liabilities. The cash infusion from the Middle East never arrived, and, Pritchard says, James Biden has not paid back the loan, the terms of which are unknown.
“It was all smoke and mirrors,” Pritchard said.
Meanwhile, Americore found itself increasingly hamstrung by high-interest loans and unable to pay employees and vendors, a situation that disrupted the operations of the rural hospitals it owns.
Now, the business is in bankruptcy court, and federal authorities are circling.
In January, “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer wrote about James Biden:
Joe Biden’s younger brother, James, has been an integral part of the family political machine from the earliest days when he served as finance chair of Joe’s 1972 Senate campaign, and the two have remained quite close. After Joe joined the US Senate, he would bring his brother James along on congressional delegation trips to places like Ireland, Rome and Africa.
When Joe became vice president, James was a welcomed guest at the White House, securing invitations to such important functions as a state dinner in 2011 and the visit of Pope Francis in 2015. Sometimes, James’ White House visits dovetailed with his overseas business dealings, and his commercial opportunities flourished during his brother’s tenure as vice president.
Consider the case of HillStone International, a subsidiary of the huge construction management firm Hill International. The president of HillStone International was Kevin Justice, who grew up in Delaware and was a longtime Biden family friend. On Nov. 4, 2010, according to White House visitors’ logs, Justice visited the White House and met with Biden adviser Michele Smith in the Office of the Vice President.
Less than three weeks later, HillStone announced that James Biden would be joining the firm as an executive vice president. James appeared to have little or no background in housing construction, but that did not seem to matter to HillStone. His bio on the company’s website noted his “40 years of experience dealing with principals in business, political, legal and financial circles across the nation and internationally…”
James Biden was joining HillStone just as the firm was starting negotiations to win a massive contract in war-torn Iraq. Six months later, the firm announced a contract to build 100,000 homes. It was part of a $35 billion, 500,000-unit project deal won by TRAC Development, a South Korean company. HillStone also received a $22 million US federal government contract to manage a construction project for the State Department.
David Richter, son of the parent company’s founder, was not shy in explaining HillStone’s success in securing government contracts. It really helps, he told investors at a private meeting, to have “the brother of the vice president as a partner,” according to someone who was there.
The Iraq project was massive, perhaps the single most lucrative project for the firm ever. In 2012, Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business reported that HillStone officials expected the project to “generate $1.5 billion in revenues over the next three years.” That amounted to more than three times the revenue the company produced in 2011.
A group of minority partners, including James Biden, stood to split about $735 million. “There’s plenty of money for everyone if this project goes through,” said one company official.
The deal was all set, but HillStone made a crucial error. In 2013, the firm was forced to back out of the contract because of a series of problems, including a lack of experience by Hill and TRAC Development, its South Korean associate firm. But HillStone continued doing significant contract work in the embattled country, including a six-year contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers.
James Biden remained with Hill International, which accumulated contracts from the federal government for dozens of projects, including projects in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mozambique and elsewhere.