REPORT: Shadowy Virgin Island Land Deal Linked to Bidens

  • 01/28/2020 12:00 AM
  • Source: AAN
  • by: AAN Staff
REPORT: Shadowy Virgin Island Land Deal Linked to Bidens
Joe Biden's brother, James, has long leveraged the clout that comes with his famous last name for personal gain.

And people with interest in influencing the former vice president are more than happy to oblige him.

It started small. One year after Biden won election to the U.S. Senate at 29, James opened a nightclub with "unusually generous bank loans," according to reporting at the time.

Over the decades, the instances of alleged corruption piled up.

In 2005, James bought land in the picturesque Virgin Islands, complete with beachfront views, for $150,000. 

James then divided the land into three parcels. The next year a lobbyist closely linked to Senator Biden bought one of the parcels.

Eventually, the lobbyist gave James a mortgage loan on the remaining two parcels in what Politico has dubbed the Virgin Islands land deal.

Politico's Ben Schreckinger reports:

In this case, a Biden staffer left the Senate in the early ’90s to become a lobbyist. Both before and after the land transaction, his clients benefited from Biden’s support and appropriations requests. A firm the lobbyist co-founded — which features a testimonial from Biden praising his “emotional investment” in his work on its website — specializes in federal contracts for niche law enforcement and national security programs for which Biden long advocated.

After the land deal, Joe Biden vacationed elsewhere on the tiny island, which once protected a nearby submarine base before it became a tropical getaway, on at least three occasions.

The property itself has remained vacant and undeveloped. It is not clear why the lobbyist, Scott Green, purchased the parcel from Biden’s brother James, or why James Biden later went to the lobbyist for a loan, rather than to a bank. An easement James Biden obtained granting road access to the land before selling it to Green may have made the land more valuable, but it is unclear whether the dramatically higher price Green paid for his parcel reflected its true value. The terms of the loan were not disclosed in property records.

It is also not clear whether Joe Biden was aware of the transactions. Following the land purchase, Green continued to lobby on issues over which Biden wielded influence and to meet with Biden’s staff. Green’s firm also continued to land government contracts related to federal programs for which Biden advocated.

The Biden campaign repeatedly declined requests for comment until just before the exposé's publication, when campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates released a terse statement: "Joe Biden was wrong. Politico does have a sense of humor. Because this story is an absolute joke."
 Source: AAN
Tags: Issues: Liberal Loon, Smoke Filled Room, AAN Exclusive; Categories:

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