Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise, a federal prosecutor in the Hunter Biden investigation, once prosecuted a similar tax avoidance case in 2018 that resulted in jail time for the offender.
Wise was part of a team of prosecutors at the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s office who prosecuted former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa for three counts of failing to file individual tax returns, resulting in a 10-month sentence for De Sousa in March 2019. (RELATED: Maryellen Noreika Issues New Order After ‘Apparent Misrepresentations’ Before Hunter Biden Plea Deal Imploded)
Just how preferential is the Hunter Biden plea deal?
The two prosecutors on Hunter’s case – Leo Wise and Derek Hines – demanded 12 months in a less egregious tax case back in 2018.
They now recommend Hunter get probation.
An illuminating thread…
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) July 29, 2023
“As a law enforcement officer, Darryl DeSousa knew that he had a duty to file tax returns. His failure to file was a crime – not an oversight,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Hur, who was appointed special counsel in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into whether Joe Biden mishandled classified documents.
De Sousa was accused of defrauding the state of Maryland by falsely claiming tax deductions in order to lower his tax burden. He also knowingly failed to file taxes from 2011-12 until 2014, and then knowingly failed to file taxes from 2013-15 as of May 2018, the DOJ said.
Similar to De Sousa, Hunter Biden was charged with two tax avoidance misdemeanors in addition to a felony gun charge. The younger Biden was expected to plead guilty and face no jail time for his charges until his plea deal imploded at a July 26 court appearance.
“In 2018, this accountant (who died in 2019) prepared Biden’s 2017 corporate and individual income tax returns and throughout the fall repeatedly attempted to provide them to Biden for review and signature. These efforts included directly contacting Biden, reaching out to his administrative assistant, and sending copies to his former business partner,” Biden’s proposed plea agreement reads.
“Not only did the accountant timely prepare Biden’s individual and corporate tex returns, the accountant repeatedly encouraged Biden to timely play the taxes associated with the 2017 tax returns,” the document adds.
Hunter Biden’s proposed guilty plea describes how Biden had the income necessary to pay his taxes for 2017 and 2018, yet he ignored his tax obligations.
“Despite his large outstanding tax liability and profligate spending, on or about April 17, 2018, the due date for 2017 tax payments, Biden did, in fact, have the funds available to pay his outstanding 2017 tax liability for both his personal and corporate returns,” the document states.
“As with tax year 2017, at the time his 2018 tax payment was due, Biden continued to have substantial income and the ability to pay his tax liability,” the proposed plea agreement continues.
When Biden purportedly got sober and married his current wife in May 2019, he still failed to file his 2018 individual and corporate tax returns on his extension due date in October 2019.
Hunter Biden filed his 2017 and 2018 tax returns in February 2020 after a court order in a domestic relations lawsuit, the proposed guilty plea details. When he met with his California accountants to identify personal and business expenses for his tax returns, “Biden miscategorized certain personal expenses as legitimate business expenses, resulting in a reduction in his tax liability,” the document says.
Hunter Biden’s accountants later discovered that Biden failed to file his 2016 Form 1040, even though it was delivered to Biden in his office and prepared around October 2017.
Prosecutors including U.S. Attorney Wise only sought probation for Biden and agreed to give him immunity from future charges in a provision tucked away inside Biden’s proposed divergence agreement.
Noreika’s questioning resulted in a disagreement between Biden’s legal team and the DOJ about whether Biden would be protected from potential charges under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for his business dealings with Ukrainian, Chinese and Romanian associates. As a result, Biden’s plea deal imploded and he pleaded not guilty.