Former vice president and top 2020 Democrat candidate Joe Biden has already faced some questions over dubious business dealings by members of his family, and now there is a whole new angle in that regard in relation to the politician’s brother, James Biden, who is being sued over allegations of fraud.
James Biden is among those accused in the lawsuit of conning a Tennessee businessman and his associates with a fraudulent deal to secure investors for the now-plaintiffs’ plan to purchase and refurbish and expand failing rural hospitals.
Deception and fraud alleged
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that businessman Michael Frey and his wife Natalie had developed a plan to buy failing rural hospitals and then transform them into “one-stop shopping” health care centers that included outpatient services, addiction treatment, and psychological counseling services.
The husband and wife teamed up with Dr. Mohannad Azzam from Alabama who brought nursing homes and senior care into the services mix. Their company, Diverse Medical Management, then began to receive attention and offers of investment to help make their business model a reality.
Enter James Biden, alongside hedge fund manager Michael Lewitt, who not only promised Frey that they could line up lucrative investment deals for the businessman, but also vowed to use Biden’s family connections to have Frey’s rural health care model adopted into any broader health care reform plan ultimately implemented if his brother were to become president.
“Con artist” Biden
But in the end, the promised investments never actually materialized and Biden and his associates essentially stole Frey’s business plan and pitched it to investors as their own.
“They repeatedly assured (Frey) that investment capital originating from and flowing through foreign entities was not only certain, but was imminent,” Frey’s attorney Robert A. Peal wrote in the lawsuit filed on July 22. “And Biden promised (Frey’s) Intensive Outpatient Model would play an integral role in health care policy at the highest levels of the United States government. But it was all a fraud.”
The lawsuit accuses Biden, Lewitt, and two other individuals of using deception and fraud against Frey and Azzam, and it included emails and text messages as evidence of such, including one text message from Biden that was accidentally sent to Frey and which strongly implied that Biden and his associates were planning to take over and push Frey and Azzam out of the picture.
The suit further alleged that Biden was a “con artist” who used his family connection as a means to attract victims and painted Lewitt as a bully that used intimidation and threats to get his way.
The offers of investment began in 2017, and despite numerous meetings and promises that funds were set to be delivered imminently, they never actually appeared. In the meantime, Biden and Lewitt convinced Frey to accept a $10 million loan that would come in part from Lewitt’s hedge fund — under the premise that the loan would be repaid with the foreign investment money that never came.
Meanwhile, in an effort to help attract those foreign investors, Frey and Azzam provided extensive details to Biden and Lewitt about their business plan, only to later find out that Biden and Lewitt had essentially removed any reference to them — more or less claiming the plan as their own — from the “white paper” that was used to pitch the proposed deal to Turkish investors.
It remains to be seen what will come of this lawsuit alleging fraud against James Biden, but regardless of the final outcome it won’t look particularly good for Democratic candidate Joe Biden and could — perhaps should — prevent him from becoming the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.