Should Hunter Biden Be in Jail? Another Look at the Oglala Sioux Indian Tribe Securities Fraud Case

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File

 

There’s a mystery about to unfold about Hunter Biden’s connection to an Indian bond fraud scheme that happened from 2014-15, for which some business associates of Hunter Biden have gone to federal prison.

Bottom line:  Hunter Biden followed his partner, Devon Archer, into bed with some unabashed Wall Street fraud merchants.

No ifs, ands, or buts — Hunter Biden laid down with dogs and now he’s got fleas.

I wrote two articles last week on the decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstating the felony securities fraud conviction of Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s, main business partner in his Ukraine and Chinese business ventures that seem to have traded on Joe Biden’s position as Vice President.

Devon Archer — Hunter Biden’s Ukraine/China Business Partner — Has Fraud Conviction Re-Instated by Appeals Court and Faces Prison Time

For Hunter Biden’s Ukraine/China Business Partner — Orange Is the New Black

The second article looked into the details of the fraudulent bond deal which left an Indian Tribe saddled with a mountain of debt, and buyers of the Indian Tribe’s bonds the likely possibility that the bonds were worthless and the money they invested has been lost.  The scheme was relatively sophisticated, with a lot of moving parts, and involved a variety of “players.”

After the release last week of emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop exposing some of the business schemes he’s been involved in, a person convicted in the Indian Tribe bond fraud, Bevan Cooney, has now made available approximately 26,000 emails in his Gmail account, suggesting there are documents there that implicate Hunter Biden in the Indian bond fraud scheme — and probably a lot more.

Cooney has released the emails because he claims that Hunter Biden improperly escaped accountability and responsibility for his role in the fraud for which seven other people have gone to prison.

I’m going to do a series of articles on this subject — hopefully one a day as time allows.

First, this article will provide an overview of the fraud scheme and the known players.

Second, I’m going to fit this scheme into a timeline of other known events involving Hutner Biden, Devon Archer, and others in their orbit.

Third, I’m going to look more closely at the available case file looking for information suggesting the involvement of individuals not charged in the case.  There were seven defendants charged in the indictment.  Four pled guilty prior to trial, and three went to trial and were convicted by the jury — including both Cooney and Archer.

Fourth — whatever else I think of.

Part 1:  Who, What, Where, and How.

The “30,000-foot view” of the bond fraud scheme is that a group of white-collar “fraudsters” with a long track record of dubious and illegal financial dealings, pitched a proposal to the Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, to issue a series of tax-free tribal bonds to raise money for improvements and public works projects on Tribal land in South Dakota  The fraudsters claimed they would take the proceeds from the bond sales and purchase annuities with a reputable insurance company.  The revenue from the annuities would pay the interest on the bonds to the investors, and the excess revenue would be used to fund projects on the Tribal land.

What happened instead was that, through a series of fraudulent acts and sham transactions, after the Tribe issued three sets of bonds with an aggregate total value of $64 million, none of the proceeds from the sales of the bonds were used to purchase annuities as promised.  Only the first interest payment to investors was made — with money obtained from another source — and a sizeable amount of the $64 million was spent by the promoters on themselves, as well as being used in other business operations with which they were involved.

The seven individuals charged in the case were the alleged leader, Jason Galanis, his father John Galanis, Gary Hirst, Hugh Dunkerley, Michelle Morton, Bevan Cooney, and Devon Archer.

John Galanis was in his early 70s and had a criminal record involving similar types of fraudulent schemes going back to the 70s.  He was convicted in the late 1980s on a lengthy RICO prosecution connected to his takeover and looting of three mutual funds.  John Galanis was sentenced to 27 years.  He served only 13 before being released.  After being convicted along with Archer and Cooney, he is now serving a sentence of 12o months imposed by the trial judge Ronnie Abrams.  He was 76 when he went into custody in 2019.

Jason Galanis is one of four sons of John Galanis.  The Indian Tribe fraud actually came unraveled because Jason Galanis was arrested in connection with a different fraud — one which also included his father and two of his brothers.  That earlier case was a “pump and dump” stock fraud scheme involving Gerova Financial Group Ltd, a company based in Bermuda, but publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Gary Hirst and Hugh Dunkerley were associates of Galanis from prior schemes.  Michelle Morton was a stranger to the group — she was the CEO of an investment advisory firm which Archer and Galanis acquired as they were putting together the scheme.  The investment advisory firm managed funds for clients and had investment authority.  By acquiring the company — and with Morton willingly going along — Galanis and Archer could have the advisory firm purchase the bonds through client accounts from the Indian Tribe.  After the scheme was underway, Galanis and Archer acquired a second investment advisor company for the same purpose.  They installed Morton as CEO of the second company based on her willingness to participate in the scheme while CEO for the first company.

And that leaves Cooney and Archer.

In a complaint filed in 2016 by the SEC against the group, it says Galanis described Cooney as his best friend for the past 23 years, and that Cooney has had an equity stake in every business they have been involved with together.

As it turns out, Bevan Cooney actually has a bit of a backstory.  He is or was one of the owners of The Viper Room in Hollywood, a trendy live-music club where Hollywood’s jet-set crowd was known to hang out. So I’ll just assume for now that Bevan Cooney has run in some circles with interesting people over the past 20 years in Southern California.

Devon Archer was a rising Democrat party “bundler” which began with his service to John Kerry’s Presidential campaign in 2004 and continued based on his business and personal relationship with John Kerry’s step-son, Christopher Heinz, who was his college roommate at Yale.   Archer was involved in a variety of business ventures with Heinz and had roles in various Heinz Family Foundation enterprises.

One of those investment companies was Rosemont Seneca Partners, formed by Heinz, Archer, and Hunter Biden.

So, the mystery here is how did Archer come into the orbit of scumball fraudster like Jason Galanis?  What did Cooney bring to the relationship from his perch in Los Angeles?

And how did Hunter Biden get involved with this crew?

Let’s first look at an overview of the timeline involved in the Indian Tribe fraud scheme.

In March 2014, Jason and John Galanis meet with representatives of the Indian Tribe in Las Vegas, where they sell Tribal leaders on the proposal to have the Tribe issue bonds to raise funds for needed improvement projects.

But between the time the original pitch was made in February 2014, and the Tribe’s agreement in March 2014, the government has email traffic between Galanis and another individual — and I think the other individual is the link between Galanis and Archer — where they discuss the plan to divert the funds from the bond sales for other business purposes and needs.  So the plan already exists to not invest the bond proceeds in any annuities, making that representation to the tribe fraudulent.  I’ll identify the second individual in my next story.

During the first half of 2014, Galanis kept Archer in the mix on the plans to divert the bond proceeds once the first set of bonds were sold.

August 2014, the first set of bonds are sold, with revenue from the sale totaling $28 million.

September 2014, the second set of bonds are sold, with revenue from the sale totaling $20 million.  The purchase of the second set is made with $20 million taken from the $28 million sitting in a bank account.  Archer takes “ownership” of one-half of the second set of bonds, and lists them as assets of Rosemont Seneca Bohai, LLC, a real estate investment company that is funded with money from a Chinese investment company partner.  At this point, it seems that Rosemont Seneca Bohai has Archer as the only US partner, not Biden or Heinz.

April 2015, the third set of bonds is sold, raising $16 million.  The funds to buy those bonds come from one client of the second investment advisory company purchased by Galanis and Archer.

At that point, the Tribe has issued $64 million worth of bonds — that it will one day have to buy back — and none of the $64 million has been invested for the benefit of the tribe.  The fraud is clear and absolute.

So where does Hunter Biden fit in?

One email string from Cooney’s account was released early this morning.  The participants in the three-way exchange are Devon Archer, Jason Galonis, and Bevan Cooney.

The email string is dated October 5, 2013 — six months before the Indian Bond fraud scheme is put in place.  Here are the exchanges in the order they took place:

Archer:  Very interesting.  Let’s discuss today.  One subtlety is that I think we want to do with Rosemont Seneca SPV.  It won’t make a difference on the economics other than we bring Hunter into the mix a little but without a commitment.  I want to leverage Hunter more and he’s a good guy for us to include.

Cooney:  Would be good to put some honey in Hunter’s pocket.

Archer:  Agreed.  I also have more autonomy with that company as I own it with Hunter and he’s willing to take on risk whereas with Rosemont Capital, Chris is much more risk averse.  Hunter will work if we need him too as well.  I’m actually thinking we move all of my bios and everything across the board to Rosemont Seneca Partners and get any lift from that.  I would also like to take Chris out of my bio across the board in our materials.

Galanis:  Done. Got the mission.  Operation Ketchup will be watered down.  Hunts only from now on.

Cooney:  No reason to have Heinz in your bio.  Cheddar cheaseball move.

In the fall of 2013, Archer had crawled into bed with Galanis and Cooney, and they were recrafting biographical information about Archer to minimize the connection between Archer and Chris Heinz.  At the same time, Archer is wanting to bring Hunter Biden — son of the Vice President — into their enterprise, as Hunter is willing to assume some risk, and Hunter will “work” if they need him to.

Within six months the group is involved in clear securities fraud — not a surprise given Galanis’ background — so the question we now have is to what extent, IF ANY, did they involve Hunter Biden in the scheme, and why hasn’t that come to light?

Part 2 — the Los Angeles “Player” that likely ties the group together.