Supreme Court rejects Devon Archer appeal in criminal case

Supreme Court rejects Devon Archer appeal in criminal case © Provided by NBC News

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday turned away an appeal brought by Devon Archer, a former business partner of Hunter Biden convicted for his role in defrauding the corporate arm of a Native American tribe.

The court’s refusal to hear Archer’s case means the conviction remains in place and brings him closer to serving a prison term.

A judge initially ruled that Archer should spend a year and a day in prison but he has challenged the sentence. He is currently out on bail.

Archer was convicted in 2018 over a scheme led by businessman Jason Galanis to defraud the Wakpamni Lake Community Corp., the business arm of the South Dakota-based Wakpamni Lake Community of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Archer and others were accused of misusing millions of dollars that the corporation raised by issuing bonds and, instead of investing the proceeds as agreed, using it “for personal purposes, such as funding personal business ventures and buying jewelry, luxury cars and a new home,” prosecutors said in court papers.

Hunter Biden was not involved in the scheme. Galanis pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a 14-year prison term while others involved were either convicted at trial or pleaded guilty.

Archer denied any intent to defraud, saying the government relied on circumstantial evidence. The trial judge threw out the jury’s guilty verdict, saying there was “a real concern that an innocent person may have been convicted.”

Federal prosecutors appealed, and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Archer’s conviction last year.

Last summer Archer testified before a Republican-led House committee investigating President Joe Biden in an effort to link him with his son’s business dealings overseas. Archer served with Hunter Biden on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.

Archer said then he had no knowledge that the senior Biden, as vice president, sought to influence policy to help his son. He said Hunter Biden did use the Joe Biden “brand” to protect his business dealings.