After Joe Biden left the Vice President’s office in 2017, his family was looking to deal and found willing partners in the form of Ye Jianming, boss of the Chinese energy company CEFC.
The business magnate has long been interested in developing high-level connections in the United States and chatted up with Hunter Biden at a dinner in Miami in May 2017.
The two discussed a $40 million joint venture to produce liquified natural gas in Louisiana, according to a 2019 report in the New Yorker. The deal went nowhere, but the relationship continued. Ye even sent a 3-carat diamond to Hunter’s hotel afterward with a note thanking him for the meeting.
On Aug. 2, 2017, Hunter Biden signed a formal consulting deal with Ye, earning a one-time retainer of $500,000, with monthly payments of $100,000 afterward. His uncle, James Biden, would receive $65,000 per month, according to the Washington Post report in March.
The agreement between Hunter Biden and Ye specified that the two would jointly pursue business opportunities under Hudson West III LLC. The company would be owned equally by Hunter Biden’s firm Owasco and Coldharbour, a group controlled by Ye lieutenant Mervyn Yan, according to New York Post Columnist Miranda Devine’s book “Laptop From Hell.”
On Aug. 8, 2017, the Chinese side seeded Hudson West with $5 million. Over time the lion’s share of the cash ended in an account linked to Hunter Biden, while $1.4 million found its way to the Lion Hall Group, James Biden’s consulting shop.
The operation began to fall apart in March 2018 after Ye was detained in China on suspicions of “economic crimes,” according to Reuters. He hasn’t been heard from since.
Another CEFC official, Patrick Ho, was charged with bribery and money laundering by the United States and would ultimately be sentenced to three years in prison.
On Nov. 2, 2018, Yan permanently dissolved Hudson West.