A new book released Monday indicates Biden family corruption schemes sought to enrich son Hunter and brother Jim Biden while Joe Biden was the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Author of The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power, Ben Schreckinger, was told by one of Jim’s former business partners, “Jim’s job is to ensure the lifestyle is good for the family.” The method of doing so reportedly entailed Hunter and Jim acquiring a hedge fund, Paradigm Global Advisors, which was founded and run by cocaine addict James Park.
“Jim and Hunter offered to buy the ﬁrm out for $21 million,” an offer inspired by Joe Biden’s plan to run for the Democrat “presidential nomination, and his son’s work for a Washington lobbying ﬁrm would be a problem.” Hunter was at that time employed at a lobbying firm that would present a conflict of interest for Joe Biden’s campaign.
“Hunter would have his new job, CEO of Paradigm, with a starting salary of $1.2 million,” Schreckinger wrote in the New York Post. “His experience in the ﬁnancial sector amounted to a few years on the payroll of a credit-card issuer.”
The position as a hedge fund manager reportedly enabled the Biden family to “tap the global demand for business partnerships with the relatives of a powerful American ofﬁcial,” Joe Biden.
In order to capitalize on the hedge fund with cash to make profitable acquisitions, Jim reportedly told one of his partners, Anthony Lotito, that he should not worry over raising money.
“Don’t worry about investors,” Jim reportedly told Lotito. “We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden.”
“We’ve got investors lined up in a line of 747s ﬁlled with cash ready to invest in this company,” Jim reportedly added.
The report also suggested that while Joe Biden was “preparing to announce his second White House bid,” Jim and Hunter were purportedly seeking to hire a team member who had more financial experience to offset their lack of financial knowledge.
Jim and Hunter soon hired Chuck Provini, who revealed “Jim and Hunter recruited him in part for political reasons. They wanted a non-Biden face atop the troubled ﬁrm.”
In Jim and Hunter’s offer to Provini, the two said Provini’s acceptance of the role would play a key part in keeping Joe Biden out of the headlines. “Joe Biden needs to distance himself from this,” Jim and Hunter told Provini, “Would you consider the job?”
In order to convince Provini to take the job, Jim and Hunter apparently attempted to sweeten the pot, telling Provini they will help him find investments from highly sought-after union pension funds.
“I was told because of his relationships with the unions that they felt as though it would be favorably looked upon to invest in the fund,” Provini explained. “They knew nothing about the hedge-fund business.”
Despite Jim and Hunter’s attempts, the hedge fund was unable to acquire profitable companies or raise capital to do so. Notwithstanding the failings, the report also notes, “Hunter and Jim did seek to enlist the family’s political allies as investors in Paradigm. Under their ownership, the ﬁrm became entangled in legal disputes and ﬁnancial scandals before quietly winding down.”
The hedge fund’s inability to show a track record of success reportedly did not stop “unsophisticated” investors from dropping by the fund’s headquarters to drop off small investment checks for the firm to deposit.
Book author Ben Schreckinger recounts what Provini said about the incident:
He recalled one week where a succession of ﬁreﬁghters paraded into the ofﬁce over the course of a few days and asked to speak with him. They would offer explanations like, “We’re friends of Joe, and we want to invest in the fund.”
The executive learned that there was a ﬁreﬁghters’ convention in town, and Jim had been working the room. “Jim told people they could invest in our hedge fund and that would help Joe,” the executive recalled.
Because of legal restrictions on who can invest in hedge funds, and because Paradigm, like most similar ﬁrms, insisted that clients fork over minimum investments in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, there was nothing he could do with the checks.
The hedge fund was still unsuccessful, despite the appearances Joe Biden helped create to encourage investments, for example, by sending firefighters who wanted to invest, literally into the firm. Ultimately, “Paradigm’s executives searched in vain to ﬁnd an overseas bank or other foreign buyer to take the business off their hands, including in the banking haven of Switzerland.”
In the end, no entity would buy the fund from the Biden family, ending the hedge fund’s hopes of success.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø