Most folks who follow politics know that Hunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, reaped millions from a Ukrainian gas company during the time his father oversaw relations with the country.
Some are also familiar with the unscrupulous dealings of James Biden, who stands accused of banking on his younger brother’s name to bilk investors and land multi-billion dollar government contracts.
On Friday, ABC News introduced Frank Biden, youngest of the Biden brothers, with an unflattering profile of the former real estate developer turned charter school front man that reveals the Biden men share a lot more than a resemblance.
Over the course of five years during the Obama administration, Frank Biden worked for a for-profit Florida charter school company called Mavericks in Education, and he was paid $70,000 per year to leverage the Biden name to convince school officials to approve schools geared toward troubled students in several districts, according to the news site.
“I give you my word of honor, on my family name, that this system is sustainable,” Frank Biden told the Palm Beach school board as he pitched a new school in 2011. “This school will be sustained.”
“I think it would be safe to say that those charter schools that were associating with Frank were using the Biden name,” said Jim Pegg, director of the district’s charter school department at the time. “They wanted that out front.”
A former board member with Mavericks – which was ultimately sold to EdisonLearning in 2017 amid a storm of lawsuits, poor student performance, and allegations of corruption – said Frank Biden regularly wore cufflinks with the presidential seal to meetings and boasted “about his brother and about how his brother was the vice president.”
“Our perception was (Frank Biden’s) name is what (Mavericks) had, and his name is what they used,” the board member said. “They brought him in for his name.”
The younger Biden attended school board meetings to pitch the schools to board members and regularly discussed his work and connection to the White House in media interviews. The advocacy is ironic in light of Joe Biden’s affections for the nation’s teachers unions, which despise charter schools that eat into the government monopoly on education. Biden has promised to abolish charter schools if elected president, The American Mirror reports.
Frank Biden described his last name as a “tremendous asset” that brought “automatic acceptance” during his quest for government approvals for Mavericks schools.
School boards in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Osceola and Pinellas counties approved schools and the chain eventually grew to eight schools with over 3,000 students. By the time Biden left, both he and the company were mired in a lawsuit accusing Mavericks of “falsely inflating the operating expenses associated with the operations of the charter schools” in a scheme to “divert funds from the education of the students to the owners of (Mavericks),” ABC News reports.
The 2014 lawsuit, filed by two Pinellas County school district executives, alleged Biden and company siphoned $22 million, though it never made it to court. Mavericks schools also faced numerous issues with poor student performance, whistleblower allegations of fraud, and educators busted for inappropriate relations with students.
In 2015, police found the principal of Mavericks High School in Palm Springs, Krista Morton, with a student inside a car filled with marijuana smoke, her blouse unbuttoned and breasts exposed, The Sun-Sentinel reported at the time.
“At the time we took over the (Mavericks) schools they were not performing well,” EdisonLearning spokesman Michael Serpe said.
With Biden out of the picture and new management, things are improving.
“All (of the schools) now are rated in the top level of alternative learning schools in Florida,” he said.