Financial records reviewed by Politico show that Joe Biden’s brother James sold one of his three parcels of land in the U.S. Virgin Islands at a substantial profit to a well-connected lobbyist who then extended a mortgage to James on the remaining two parcels.
In May 2005, James Biden purchased an acre of land on Water Island for $150,000. He then applied for and received an easement to divide the property into three plots, one of which he sold to lobbyist Scott Green — a decade-long Senate staffer for Joe Biden in the 1980s — for $150,000. James had initially purchased all three parcels for $150,000, meaning that he made his money back and was able to keep the majority of the one acre plot for himself.
Green’s lobbying firm, Lafayette Group — which features a photo of Green with Biden on its website and quotes Biden endorsing Green — earned two government contracts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency worth a total of $5.8 million on April 11, 2010.
Three days later, Green extended a $133,300 mortgage to James Biden for his remaining Water Island property. Property records reviewed by Politico show that Green had “received full payment and full satisfaction” and released the mortgage in September 2013.
Joe Biden and his family traveled to Water Island several times during his vice presidency, but did not stay on his brother’s or Green’s land, which remains undeveloped.
Lafayette Group earned tens of millions of dollars in government contracts during the course of Biden’s time as vice president. During his time in the Senate, Biden also advocated for a number of areas in which Green’s lobbying intersected, including a broadband network for first responders and the non-profit Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.