The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided a health care business linked to Joe Biden’s brother in late January, seizing boxes of documents.
The raid of an Americore Health hospital represented a deepening of the legal morass surrounding James Biden’s recent venture into health care investing at a time when questions about the business dealings of Joe Biden’s relatives, and their alleged connection to the former vice president’s public service, continue to dog his presidential campaign.
In the weeks since the raid, two small medical firms that did business with James Biden have claimed in civil court proceedings to have obtained evidence that he may have fraudulently transferred funds from Americore “outside of the ordinary course of business,” and a former Americore executive has told POLITICO that James Biden had more than half a million dollars transferred to him from the firm as a personal loan that has not yet been repaid.
The purpose of the Jan. 30 raid of an Ellwood City, Pa., hospital remains unclear, and there is no indication it was related to the actions of Biden’s younger brother, who has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing. Its owner, Americore, has faced legal problems and allegations of mismanagement that are unrelated to James Biden.
But recent filings in ongoing legal proceedings, along with new accounts provided to POLITICO by former executives of Americore and others, point to potential pitfalls for the former vice president, painting the fullest picture to date of James Biden’s health care dealings and the ways in which they allegedly related to his older brother. In 2017 and 2018, James Biden was embarking on a foray into health care investing, telling potential partners, including at Americore, that his last name could open doors and that Joe Biden was excited about the public policy implications of their business models, according to court filings and interviews with James’ former business contacts.
Tom Pritchard, a former Americore executive familiar with the business’ finances, told POLITICO that James Biden’s arrival exacerbated Americore’s financial problems. Holding out the promise of a large investment from the Middle East based on his political connections, James Biden introduced Americore’s founder to his older brother and helped land a bridge loan to Americore from a hedge fund, Pritchard said. But then, Pritchard said, James Biden received a six-figure personal loan out of Americore’s coffers while encouraging the firm to take on greater financial liabilities. The cash infusion from the Middle East never arrived, and, Pritchard says, James Biden has not paid back the loan, the terms of which are unknown.
“It was all smoke and mirrors,” Pritchard said.