A former business parter of President Biden's son Hunter Biden, has been sentenced to time in federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud a Native America tribe of around $60 million in bonds.
Defendant Devon Archer was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison by Manhattan Judge Ronnie Abrams on Monday, according to the New York Post.
Adams said that Archer's crime was "too serious" to let him walk away.
"There's no dispute about the harm caused to real people," Abrams said, who noted that the defrauded tribe, the Oglala Sioux, is one of the poorest in the nation.
In addition to a prison sentence, Archer will have to pay more than $15 million in forfeiture himself, and more than $43 million in restitution with his co-defendants in the case.
Archer maintained his innocence in regards to the scheme, and on Monday, his attorney, Matthew Schwartz, said that they intend to appeal the conviction and sentence.
"In brief statements to Abrams just before Archer was sentenced, he and Schwartz claimed he was taken advantage of by corrupt businessmen who wanted to use him in the scheme," the New York Post reported.
"He came under the influence of a person he trusted too much and didn’t ask enough questions," Schwartz said.
Archer said it was "nothing less than surreal" that he had been convicted and was facing a prison sentence.
"I was doing too many things at once and not paying enough attention," Archer said of his involvement the scheme.
"I have deep remorse for the victims of the crime," said Archer. "I’m most sorry for my family and what I’ve put them through."
Prior to his arrest and subsequent conviction and sentencing, Archer served alongside Biden on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukraine-based energy company. It was reported that the Biden son had no connection tot his fraud scheme.
Schwartz argued in a sentencing memo filed earlier this month that Archer had provided "real value" to Burisma during his time there, but had resigned from the board after his arrest in 2016.
Following a trial in 2018, Archer was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
Prosecutors argued that Archer and his co-defendants had bought more than $60 million in bonds from the Oglala Sioux tribe, but instead of using them for annuity, they used them to "build a financial services mega-company," according to the New York Post.
"Archer became a key player in the scheme, anticipating that, when the scheme succeeded, he would helm the resulting conglomerate and, ultimately, reap massive profits from its sale," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo earlier this month.
Abrams had granted Archer's request for a new trial after his conviction, but this decision was overruled by a federal appeals court. The conviction was then reinstated.
She noted during the trial that Archer was not the leader of the scheme, and did not attempt to obstruct justice. She also said that archer did not benefit financially from the scheme, even loosing money from it.
Archer's attorney asked that he be allowed to remain free pending appeal, to which the judge responded that a ruling would come after the defense and prosecution submit briefs on the request.
"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," Schwartz said in a statement after the sentencing.