Devon Archer was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison by Manhattan Judge Ronnie Abrams for his role in a ploy that defrauded the Oglala Sioux tribe of nearly $60 million in bonds.
Before being arrested, Archer and Biden sat on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.
Biden had no connection to the fraud scheme Archer was convicted for on Monday.
Archer’s attorney, Matthew Schwartz, said Archer — who has maintained his innocence — would be appealing the judgment ordering him to pay over $15 million in restitution out of pocket and over $43 million with his co-defendants.
“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 following the sentencing.
In short statements to the judge, Archer and Schwartz said corrupt businessmen had taken advantage of Biden’s former business partner to use him in the scam.
“He came under the influence of a person he trusted too much and didn’t ask enough questions,” Schwartz said.
Archer called the sentencing and facing down prison time “nothing less than surreal” and said he “was doing too many things at once and not paying enough attention” in regards to the fraud.
“I have deep remorse for the victims of the crime,” Archer said, adding that he was also distraught about the pain he had caused his friends and family.
“I’m most sorry for my family and what I’ve put them through,” he also said.
Abrams said that he could not let Archer walk for his role in the scheme, deeming the crime “too serious.”
“There’s no dispute about the harm caused to real people,” Abrams said, noting that the defrauded tribe is one of the most economically disadvantaged in the country.
A jury convicted Archer of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities following a 2018 trial.
Archer and his co-defendants were alleged by prosecutors as having purchased more than $60 million in bonds from the Oglala Sioux, which was then used to “build a financial services mega-company” instead of holding the bonds for annuity.