Corruption Hall of Fame: Top 10 Presidential Sons Convicted of Crimes

Hunter Biden poised to join elite ranks of scion scofflaws

July 26, 2023

What happened: Hunter Biden, the disgraced son of President Joe Biden, was supposed to become a convicted criminal on Wednesday. He was expected to plead guilty to multiple tax charges as part of a negotiated agreement with federal prosecutors, which critics had denounced as a "sweetheart deal."

Instead, Hunter pleaded not guilty to the charges after Judge Maryellen Noreika rejected the plea deal, which would have granted the first son broad legal immunity from other tax crimes, as well as drug- and firearm-related offenses.

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What it means: Although Hunter will not immediately join the elite ranks of scofflaw political scions, his place among the top 10 presidents' (or prime ministers') sons convicted of crimes is all but assured. Here's who else would make the cut, in no particular order.

1. Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue (Equatorial Guinea)

A French court in 2017 convicted the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on embezzlement and money laundering charges.

2. Sir Mark Thatcher (United Kingdom)

Margaret Thatcher's son was convicted and fined in South Africa for his role in the 2004 coup effort that attempted (but failed) to oust President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Equatorial Guinea.

3 & 4. Alaa and Gamal Mubarak (Egypt) 

The sons of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak were convicted in 2011 for embezzling state funds.

5. Armando Ndambi Guebuza (Mozambique) 

The son of former president Armando Guebuza was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2022 after being found guilty of bribery, blackmail, and money laundering.

6. Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani (Iran)

The son of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was sentenced to 15 years in 2015 for financial crimes and inciting unrest against the regime.

7. George Weah Jr. (Liberia)

The son of President George Weah was sentenced to a six-month prison term in 2021 for throwing loud parties with "girls and champagne" at his Paris residence during the COVID-19 lockdown.

8. Maxim Bakiyev (Kyrgyzstan) 

The son of ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev was convicted and sentenced in 2013 to 25 years in prison for financial corruption.

9. José Filomeno dos Santos (Angola)

The son of former president José Eduardo dos Santos was convicted and jailed in 2020 for stealing money from the National Bank of Angola.

10. General Muhoozi Kainerugaba (Uganda)

The son of President Yoweri Museveni is not yet a convicted criminal, but stands accused of torture, killings, and other crimes against humanity, according to testimony submitted to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

[TBD]. Hunter Biden (United States)