Friday, May 24, 2024

Ex-Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer to be resentenced, fed judge rules

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Devon Archer, the former business partner of scandal-scarred first son Hunter Biden, will be resentenced after having previously been ordered to serve one year in prison for defrauding a Native American tribe, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Archer, 49, had asked Manhattan federal Judge Ronnie Abrams in February to vacate his 2022 prison sentence in the case over a sentencing guidelines calculation error that his defense counsel failed to notice, and in light of his cooperation in congressional investigations related to President Biden’s alleged involvement in his family’s foreign business dealings.

“[T]he Court grants Archer’s petition for habeas relief, vacates his sentence, and sets this matter for resentencing,” Abrams wrote in her nine-page opinion.

She sided with Archer’s contention that his counsel’s failure to object to the incorrect sentencing guidelines, which prosecutors conceded missed the mark, met the legal standard for “ineffective assistance of counsel” and that Archer was “prejudiced by his counsel’s deficient representation.”

Archer was convicted in June 2018 of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud.  Julia Nikhinson – CNP for NY Post / MEGA

Archer and two other Burnham Financial Group executives were convicted by a jury in June 2018 of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud.

Prosecutors charged that Archer and his co-defendants bought more than $60 million in bonds from the Oglala Sioux, but instead of using them for annuity, they used them to “build a financial services mega-company.”

Hunter Biden was vice chairman of Burnham and earned up to $200,000, but was not involved in the scheme.

Archer’s conviction was overturned in November 2018 by Abrams, who ruled there wasn’t enough evidence against him while upholding the convictions of his two co-defendants.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Archer’s conviction in 2020, and the Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal in the case in January.

Archer provided testimony to the House Oversight Committee last July implicating President Biden, 81, in many of his son’s overseas relationships.

Hunter Biden
Archer told lawmakers last year that Joe Biden was on speakerphone for about 20 of Hunter’s foreign business meetings. Rod Lamkey – CNP for NY Post

Among the pieces of evidence Archer provided lawmakers was his awareness of the elder Biden being on speakerphone for about 20 of Hunter’s foreign business meetings.

Archer’s attorney Matthew Schwartz had argued to Abrams that his client performed “substantial civic duties” through his “extensive cooperation with federal investigators” in the Biden investigation, and his helpfulness in the probe should be taken into account when considering resentencing.

“The Court should consider, in any resentencing, Mr. Archer’s changed circumstances and continued and good-faith participation with various governmental investigations, as well as his continued commitment to charitable and educational causes, and of course his flawless record on pretrial release over the course of nearly eight years,” Schwartz wrote.

Abrams asked that Archer’s lawyer and federal prosecutors submit proposed dates for Archer’s resentencing hearing by no later than May 22.

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