As former Vice President Joe Biden battles Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for the Democratic presidential nomination, scandals surrounding members of his family are drawing more unwelcome scrutiny.
Joe Biden’s younger brother, James Biden, has been accused of trading on the family name to further his questionable dealings with several healthcare companies, including Americore Health, which eventually filed for bankruptcy and was raided by the FBI in January.
James Biden had promised to help Americore’s business grow by tapping his brother’s influence to secure a large investment from the Middle East that never arrived, Politico reported. “It was all smoke and mirrors,” said former Americore executive Tom Pritchard.
Alleged false promises
According to Pritchard and another former executive who stayed anonymous, James flexed his brother’s political influence and promised to secure a multi-million dollar investment from the Middle East to expand the business. He secured a bridge loan through a partner, hedge fund owner Michael Lewitt, but the larger investment never came.
James began distancing himself from the company when it started to go bankrupt — a turn of events that Pritchard blamed on Biden’s false promises. Biden has yet to repay a six-figure personal loan that Americore made out to him using the bridge loan.
“Jim needed to lay low because his brother was possibly running for president, and he didn’t need any bad press,” Pritchard said.
The company, which owns and runs rural hospitals in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Missouri, is now facing a number of legal headaches, including bankruptcy and state and federal probes over failure to pay employees and vendors. The FBI raided the home of Americore’s CEO and a closed Americore hospital in late January, although the raids have no clear connection with Biden or any criminal wrongdoing, Politico reported. James Biden has not been accused of any crimes.
It’s a pattern
James Biden and his partners are also facing a lawsuit alleging fraud brought by two Tennessee medical firms which claim that he and his partners “pushed the firms to make expensive acquisitions, as part of a scheme to drive them out of business and steal their business models,” Politico reported. The companies claim that Biden encouraged them to take on financial risks with phony promises of large foreign investments that never came to fruition.
“All the promises were on the Biden name,” businessman Michael Frey said. “Everything was on the honor of the Biden name. I don’t know how many times [James Biden] said that.”
The right connections
James Biden first got involved in Americore in 2017, Pritchard said. Although he had his doubts, he was bowled over by Biden’s promises.
“He could get us in front of the unions. He could get us in front of certain people in government. He could get us in front of the right people,” Pritchard said.
Of course, James is not the only scion of the Biden clan accused of trading on Joe’s position to further their business interests. President Donald Trump has promised to make Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine, which figured heavily into Trump’s impeachment, a major campaign issue.