The US president's son Hunter Biden, who was accused of tax crimes, has pleaded not guilty in court. The 53-year-old appeared before the responsible federal court in Los Angeles, as US media consistently reported. Judge Mark Scarsi made it clear that he would aim for the trial to begin on June 20th. The official start of the process is likely to come right in the middle of the hot phase of his father's election campaign, who wants to run for a second term as president in the US elections in November.
Biden's son was charged with several tax crimes in December. Hunter Biden is accused of failing to properly pay federal taxes for several years. He spent millions on an extravagant lifestyle instead of paying his tax bills. The Justice Department cited a sum of at least $1.4 million (1.3 million euros) that Hunter Biden withheld. In September, the president's son was charged with violating weapons regulations. Here too he pleaded not guilty.
If convicted, Hunter Biden faces a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison. However, the actual penalties for federal crimes are usually less than the maximum penalties.
Hunter Biden has been in the sights of the US justice system for a long time. Investigations against him had been ongoing for years, including for possible tax offenses. In June, the public prosecutor's office in Delaware finally published formal allegations against the president's son for violations of gun and tax laws. At that time, the prosecutor's office initially announced that they had reached an agreement with Hunter Biden to avoid a trial in both cases. However, that deal fell through at a court hearing at the end of July.