A Ukrainian-American with longtime ties to former Vice President Joe Biden lent the current presidential candidate’s brother $500,000 in 2015, which raises questions about Biden family members using their famous name for financial reasons.
According to Politico, James Biden and his wife Sara borrowed the money from John Hynansky, who has donated to Joe Biden’s numerous campaigns in the past.
The cash, according to a spokesman for James and Sara Biden, was used while they were renovating their multimillion-dollar waterfront vacation home on Keewaydin Island, Florida. Politico noted that the home is dubbed “the Biden Bungalow.”
“John Hynansky is a longtime friend of the Bidens,” the spokesman said. “He did provide a series of loans during a two-year period while the Bidens were undergoing major renovations of the island home.”
Politico reported that the Bidens were in a tight spot financially after the 2013 purchase of the house for $2.5 million. With a list of needed repairs growing, they took out a second mortgage and missed federal tax payments in 2013 and 2014 totaling more than $600,000, resulting in a lien.
A contractor also placed a lien on the house after the Bidens failed to pay him $75,000 for services.
The $500,000 loan from Hynansky helped the Bidens settle their debts. In 2017, they sold the house for $1.35 million.
The Biden family’s ties to Ukraine have come under scrutiny in recent months after several reports detailing the intricate web of relationships between the influential American family from Delaware and the eastern European country. Biden’s son Hunter, for example, was reported to have made more than $4 million from a Ukrainian natural gas company. And Joe Biden is alleged to have gotten involved in a Ukrainian investigation of that company, telling the Ukrainian president to fire the prosecutor.