Devon Archer, a former close friend and business partner of Hunter Biden, will likely soon be headed to federal prison to begin serving a sentence that has been delayed by several years.
That development follows the U.S. Supreme Court's announcement on Monday that it had declined to take up an appeal from Archer of his prior conviction and sentence for defrauding a Native American tribe and other investors, Fox News reported.
Hunter Biden, despite his close ties to Archer at the time of the $60 million fraudulent scheme that occurred while his father Joe Biden served as vice president, was never charged in connection with the crime.
On Monday, the Supreme Court issued an Order List in which it was noted that it had denied a petition for certiorari in the case of Archer, Devon v. United States that had been filed in July 2023 after Archer's prior conviction and sentence had been upheld by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals a month earlier in June.
At the time of his rejection by the appellate court, the New York Post reported that Archer's attorney, Matthew Schwartz, said his client had the "greatest respect for the American judicial system" but intended to further appeal that court's ruling.
"While we are disappointed in today’s decision, Mr. Archer is innocent, and he remains hopeful that the courts will ultimately reinstate Judge Abrams’ careful decision recognizing that his conviction was a miscarriage of justice," the lawyer said at the time.
Archer to serve one year in prison, forfeit fraudulent proceeds, and pay restitution
According to the Justice Department, Archer was initially indicted in 2016 along with several other business associates -- except for Hunter Biden -- who had been involved in a scheme that defrauded a Native American tribe and other investors out of approximately $60 million.
That scheme involved using deception to convince the tribe to issue bonds on multiple occasions that were then surreptitiously purchased by the schemers and used to finance their own personal expenses and the creation of a fraudulent business that later failed.
Following his conviction in February 2022, Archer was sentenced to serve one year plus one day in federal prison along with one year of supervised release and was further ordered to forfeit $15.7 million in illicit proceeds and pay $43.4 million in restitution -- a sentence that was placed on hold pending the appeals process.
Matter has been delayed for years as appeals play out
That 2022 ruling was Archer's second conviction in the matter, as Fox News reported that his initial conviction in 2018 had been tossed out by New York's U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams, who stated at the time that she had been "left with an unwavering concern that Archer is innocent of the crimes charged."
However, the conviction was reinstated by the 2nd Circuit in 2020 and the delayed sentence was imposed in 2022, at which time Archer's attorney Schwartz said, "Mr. Archer is obviously disappointed with today’s sentence, and intends to appeal."
"It is unfortunate that the judge, who has previously expressed concern that Mr. Archer is innocent of the crimes charged and reiterated that belief today, felt that she was constrained not to act on her independent assessment of the evidence," he added.
Judge's about-face on Archer's culpability
Yet, Schwartz's summation was not entirely accurate, though he was correct that Judge Abrams had initially said the prosecutors failed to prove that Archer "knew that the bond issue was fraudulent, or that he received any personal benefit from it."
However, during the 2022 retrial, she acknowledged that the fraudulent scheme was "too serious" for Archer to completely avoid serving any prison time and further stated that "there’s no dispute about the harm caused to real people."