Biden's Son, Brother Face Hedge Fund Fight

Aug 25 2008 | 1:00am ET

Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), whose son and brother have been accused of defrauding partners in a hedge fund venture, has been tapped as the Democrats’ vice-presidential candidate.

Biden’s son Hunter and brother James have been sued by their former partner and an investor in hedge fund Paradigm Global Advisors, alleging they defrauded both out of millions. Hunter Biden served as president of Paradigm for less than year.

Anthony Lotito, the former partner, alleges that Sen. Biden was worried that his son’s position as a Washington lobbyist might adversely affect his presidential ambitions. According to Lotito’s lawsuit, James Biden called Lotito two years ago to tell him that Sen. Biden “was concerned with the impact that Hunter’s lobbying activities might have on his expected campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.”

James Biden “told Lotito that, in light of these concerns, his brother had asked him to seek Lotito’s assistance in finding employment for Hunter in a non-lobbying capacity,” the lawsuit alleges. Hunter Biden has since returned to lobbying.

Nicholas Gravante, who represents Hunter and James Biden, says the allegations about Sen. Biden are “absolutely false.”

“This lawsuit has nothing to do with Joe Biden, and there is absolutely no truth to those allegations,” Gravante told the Washington Post. “It is a business dispute between former partners. The suit is baseless.”

Lotito’s lawyer told the Post that his client alleges no wrongdoing on the part of Sen. Biden, simply worrying about appearances.

“There was a concern that Hunter Biden’s role as a lobbyist would have an impact on the senator’s proposed presidential run,” Brian Wille said. “That’s what James Biden told Mr. Lotito…. Was it true? Who knows? There is no allegation that the senator was involved in any of these events.”

Hunter and James Biden have filed a counter-suit against Lotito.

Sen. Biden, who has represented the First State in the Senate since 1973, was introduced as Sen. Barack Obama’s running mate on Saturday in Springfield, Ill. Biden chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and ran for president this year himself, withdrawing from the race after a poor showing in January’s Iowa caucuses. He also sought the nation’s highest office in 1988.

He will officially be nominated for the vice presidency at this week’s Democratic National Convention, which begins today in Denver.

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