Mykola Zlochevsky, the Kremlin’s former minister of natural resources and the founder of Burisma Holdings, reportedly hired Hunter Biden “as a helpful non-executive director with a powerful name,” according to a Friday Reuters report.
Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a Ukrainian businessman and former politician who knows Zlochevsky says Burisma’s founder hired Biden in 2014 “to protect [the company]” in the face of potential prosecution. Zlochevsky was investigated for tax violations, money-laundering, and corruption and initially cleared of any wrongdoing. Earlier this month, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka told reporters that 15 cases involving Zlochevsky were being reviewed.
According to sources, Hunter Biden never visited Ukraine, but participated regularly in biannual board meetings, all of which were held outside Ukraine. Sources also said Biden was appointed during a time when Burisma was seeking foreign investment, a process which Biden helped by finding lawyers for the potential deal, which ultimately broke down when war broke out in east Ukraine. “He was a ceremonial figure,” a source said.
Reuters reviewed payment records allegedly from Burisma which show $3.4 million in payments to a company headed by Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer, called Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC, between April 2014 and November 2015.
Every month during that 18-month period, the records show two payments of $83,333 for “consulting services,” which sources say were intended for Archer and Biden. One of the sources also said that in their investigations of Burisma, prosecutors obtained payment records which showed activities prior to when Archer and Biden were appointed to the board.