Chinese Firm Paid Hunter And James Biden Millions For Attempting To Secure US Energy Deals, Testimony Shows

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Chinese energy firm CEFC paid millions to Hunter and James Biden for attempting to secure U.S. energy ventures that failed to materialize, a former business associate told lawmakers.

Former CEFC associate Mervyn Yan testified in January before the Oversight and Judiciary Committee and discussed Hunter and James Biden’s involvement with Hudson West III, a joint venture CEFC and the Bidens started in August 2017 after months of negotiations, according to a transcript reviewed by the Daily Caller. (RELATED: Joe Biden’s Brother Had No Clear Role At Healthcare Firm That Wired Him $600,000, Trustee Testifies)

He described how Hunter Biden and James Biden initially received $100,000 and $65,000 per month, respectively, in accordance with the terms of Hudson West III’s initial operating agreement. Yan said the monthly payments were “a draw” from the venture’s initial $5 million operating budget and claimed he did not know why Hunter Biden received more money than his uncle.

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – JULY 26: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, arrives to the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on July 26, 2023 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“Hudson West III,” a staffer began asking Yan.

“Yes,” he replied.

“In 2017 appears to have tried to land five different energy deals. Is that — do I have that correct?”

“That’s right. Five of them actually on paper,” Yan replied.

“But none of them materialized, meaning none of the deals actually happened, correct?”

“That’s correct,” Yan reiterated.

“And despite the fact that none of the deals actually materialized and no money was ever produced from it, Hunter Biden and James Biden still were paid, correct?”

“That’s correct,” he said.

Yan clarified that Hunter and James Biden attempted to negotiate U.S. deals for Hudson West III in 2017. Both Bidens continued to be paid the following year, according to bank records and Hunter Biden’s federal tax indictment in California. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: America First Legal Demands Records From Hunter Biden’s Attempt To Expand Business Into Louisiana)

Hunter Biden received $1.4 million from Hudson West III in 2017 and transferred roughly $550,000 to James Biden. The next year, Hudson West III transferred $2.1 million to Hunter Biden, who sent $843,999 to James Biden, the indictment says.

The indictment does not name James Biden but he appears to be the business associate in question, given the terms of the initial Hudson West III operating agreement, Yan’s testimony, the bank records and James Biden’s interview with federal investigators.

Yan appeared to recall conversations about proposed U.S. business transactions that took place in 2018 despite a lack of responsiveness from CEFC, whose chairman Ye Jianming was arrested by Chinese authorities on suspicion of bribery in early 2018.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 10:Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, flanked by Kevin Morris, left, and Abbe Lowell, right, attend a House Oversight Committee meeting on January 10, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

A few months before, CEFC executive Patrick Ho was arrested by U.S. authorities and later received a three-year prison sentence for participating in an international bribery scheme. Ho wired Hunter Biden $1 million in March 2018 for legal services Biden does not seem to have performed.

Hudson West III revised its business agreement in 2018 to add Yan’s LLC to the company and remove a company controlled by CEFC associate Gongwen “Kevin” Dong. Yan was to receive $20,000 per month and Hunter Biden’s compensation would be $165,000, the new agreement indicates.

James Biden’s name was removed from the amended business agreement, yet his firm Lion Hall Group continued to receive payments from Hudson West III, Yan said.

Hunter Biden took out $400,000 from the Hudson West III account at the time the business launched, bank records show. He wired $150,000 of the withdrawal to Lion Hall Group and then James Biden wired $50,000 of the funds to his personal account with his wife, Sara Biden.

In September 2017, Sara Biden wrote a $40,000 check to Joe Biden for a “loan repayment” after the string of transactions. Yan testified that Sara Biden had a Hudson West III credit card despite lacking a formal role in the venture.

A payment of $100,000 from CEFC prior to the $400,000 transfer was part of Hunter Biden’s $500,000 retainer agreed to in the first Hudson West III business agreement, Yan clarified. The Oversight Committee previously disclosed the $100,000 payment.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said in a Jan. 25 readout Yan was not really sure what Hunter Biden actually brought to the table. Yan indicated he was unsure what industry knowledge the younger Biden possessed and thought he was brought into the business for the U.S. transactions.

“He is going to show us the infrastructure investment projects in the United States. That’s to the extent of the framework of what’s going to happen as Hudson West III transactions,” Yan testified after multiple questions about his first time meeting Hunter Biden.

Kevin Dong, Yan’s business partner at CEFC, introduced him to Hunter Biden in May 2017. Dong has not been permitted to return to the U.S. since Patrick Ho’s arrest, Yan testified.

CEFC’s relationship with the Bidens began before Yan was brought into the Hudson West III negotiations, he recalled. He started off as an independent contractor making $10,000 per month. (RELATED: Biden Associate Reveals The Reason Joe Biden Apparently Met With Hunter’s Chinese Business Partners)

In March 2017, State Energy HK, an account tied to CEFC, wired approximately $3 million to Biden associate Rob Walker, who proceeded to distribute roughly $1 million of the funds to various Biden family accounts, according to bank records and the tax indictment. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to the federal tax charges on Jan. 11.

Walker testified the State Energy HK payment was a “thank you” for work conducted during Joe Biden’s vice presidency, according to Comer.

James Biden is set to testify on Feb. 21 to continue the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden based primarily on his family’s foreign business dealings. Hunter Biden’s testimony is scheduled to take place the following week.


Henry Rodgers contributed to this report.