December 5, 2020

USA: Beau Biden Helped Get Dupont Billionaire Multi-Victim Toddler Molester House Arrest. Joe Biden Added Former Dupont Consultant To Join His Imaginary Environmental Protection Agency.

Forbes Magazine
written by Deniz Cam
Friday June 14, 2019

Dark Capital is a series that explores the intersection of business, wealth and crime. It’s featured on Sundays.

n February 6, 2009, Robert Richards admitted to raping his 3-year-old daughter. “I feel horrible,” he told the judge, according to court documents. “There’s no excuse for what I’ve done to her.”

His lawyer, calling the 6-foot-4, roughly 300-pound Richards “a somewhat gentle person,” argued he “would not fare well” in jail. Hours later, Richards walked away from Delaware Superior Court a free man. He pleaded guilty to a charge of rape in the fourth degree, paid a fine of $4,395 and promised to attend a high-end treatment center in Massachusetts.

Judge Jan Jurden, who presided over the case, had initially considered sentencing Richards to eight years in prison; ultimately she gave him eight years of probation. “I have concerns about this, because arguably, you should be [in jail] for what you did,” Jurden said during the sentencing. “But I think you have significant treatment needs that have to be addressed, and you have very strong family support. So unlike many unfortunate people who come before me, you are lucky in that regard, and I hope you appreciate that.”

Richards did have support that most convicts lacked. Upon his release, he went back to living on the proceeds of his multimillion-dollar trust fund, the result of being a member of one of Delaware’s most powerful families, the du Ponts. While he never worked for or had any affiliation with the DuPont company, he still benefits from the family fortune, which Forbes valued at $14.3 billion in 2016, and dates back 200 years in the state.

Richards also benefited from another, remarkable stroke of luck: The case was missed by the local press, and he avoided any negative attention. That is, until 2014, after his marriage had ended, and his ex-wife, Tracy Richards, sued him in civil court for monetary damages caused by his crime. Suddenly the earlier case became a national sensation—fueled by public outrage—and many were astonished that Richards had evaded jail time. Many also wondered what role his fortune played in keeping him a free man.

The du Ponts, a Polygraph, a Biden

Richards’ daughter was about 5 years old when she described to her maternal grandmother, Donna Burg, a particular way her father touched her in October 2007, according to court documents. Burg immediately told her daughter about what she learned, and the two contacted a doctor and the Child Abuse Hotline. Richards was eventually arrested on charges that he had been abusing his daughter since she was about 3 years old. In June 2008, Richards pleaded guilty.

By December, Tracy Richards had filed for divorce, which was finalized in February, right around the time Robert Richards faced the judge.

On the day of his sentencing, though he promised he would undergo treatment out of state at an upscale clinic affiliated with Harvard Medical School, his probation status didn’t allow him to do so. Instead, he mostly stayed in Delaware to receive psychiatric care and group counseling for sex offenders, according to a probation document from 2010.

But after a year of treatment, Richards’ sex offender counselor thought the multimillionaire was making little progress and wasn’t disclosing enough of his sexual history to effectively work through his problems, according to the same probation report. Richards’ counselor recommended a polygraph examination, and the results suggested Richards may have raped his younger son, too.

Richards is “very concerned that something happened with his son,” the 2010 polygraph report stated, but believes that he has repressed the memories. The report also indicated that Richards promised that whatever he did to his son he would never do again. But two years later, Richards’ probation officer reached out again to the court with his “concerns about Mr. Richards past offenses concerning his son.”

Law enforcement investigated these concerns but never took any action, according to a local news report. The New Castle County Police Department declined multiple requests from Forbes to comment on the case. Forbes was unable to speak with Richards despite multiple phone calls and requests through representatives.

Then in 2014, Tracy Richards filed a claim with the Delaware Superior Court seeking monetary damages on behalf of both of the couple’s minor children and alleging that Robert Richards “breached his duty of care to his young children.”

This time, however, Robert Richards failed to avoid the public eye. In March 2014, Tracy Richards held a press conference about her civil suit that earned wide coverage. “Making matters worse, this self-admitted rapist and child abuser has not paid a single penny to these children for his crimes,” said Thomas Crumplar, the Wilmington-based attorney who represented Tracy Richards, according to a local news report. Crumplar stood next to a distraught Tracy Richards and her mother, Donna Burg.

The headlines, often brutal, followed: “Du Pont Heir Gets No Prison Time for Raping 3-Year-Old Daughter” (Vanity Fair); “One Percenter Convicted Of Raping Infant Child Dodges Jail Because He ‘Will Not Fare Well’” (Huffington Post); “Revealed: Multimillionaire du Pont family heir was spared jail for raping his three-year-old daughter because judge decided he would ‘not fare well’ behind bars” (Daily Mail); “Why Society Goes Easy on Rapists” (Slate).

The suit was settled in about three months. Tracy Richards wouldn’t discuss the case with Forbes.

But the aftermath of the suit carried on. Richards’ story became the focal point of a media frenzy, one so significant that Judge Jurden reportedly received multiple threats and had to get a security detail. It even dragged Vice President Joe Biden’s late son Beau Biden—then attorney general of Delaware—into the furor.

Biden’s office had originally charged Richards with two counts of second-degree rape, punishable by a minimum prison term of 20 years, according to a local news report from 2014. Now he needed to explain how his office allowed Richards to plead that down to no term at all.

A History of Influence

Biden wrote an op-ed in the Delaware’s News Journal arguing that the case against Richards in 2009 “was not a strong case, and a loss at trial was a distinct possibility.”

Through the plea deal, Richards at least had to register as a sex offender, go to sex-offender rehabilitation therapy and promise not to have contact with the victim and anyone under the age of 16, Biden noted. “A loss at trial would have rendered any of these restrictions impossible.”

It’s true that the case might have been hard to prosecute. According to David Finkelhor, director of Crimes Against Children Research Center, prosecutors can find themselves in a tough spot when presented with cases where the victims are young children (and thus, unfortunately, not strong witnesses) and there is little to no medical evidence.

What makes it harder for prosecutors, Finkelhor says, is when the alleged perpetrator has money for a strong defense.

“If the prosecutor is looking at a defense lawyer who is not only very good but also knows how to throw a lot of wrenches into the machinery,” Finkelhor says, “and keep things going for a long time and take a lot of effort and time out of his or her staff's responsibilities to gain a conviction there,” it can eventually lead them to drop or lower charges out of exhaustion.

That’s what happened in this case, according to a source with a close understanding of the case who asked for anonymity out of fear of reprisal. “You would expect that somebody who’s well off is going to get a better lawyer and get a better deal,” the source says. “The [defense lawyer] was so great. That’s what really did it.”

That defense lawyer, Eugene Maurer Jr., is a noted veteran of 40 years who’s most famous for defending former Delaware deputy attorney general Thomas Capano, who was found guilty of murdering his girlfriend in 1999, and Steven B. Pennell, a Delaware serial killer, in the late 1980s. On his professional page, Maurer boasts of being named “Delaware’s Top Criminal Defense Attorney” for about 25 years. Maurer did not respond to multiple interview requests from Forbes.

The du Pont family fortune spans continents and centuries. Pierre du Pont, a wealthy publisher and economist, was an advisor to Louis XVI, the last king of France before the French Revolution. Pierre’s son ร‰leuthรจre Irรฉnรฉe, also known as E.I., was a scientist who worked at a gunpowder plant in France, where he focused on improving the explosive’s formula and techniques for its mass production.

After Louis XVI was executed during the revolution, the du Ponts quietly moved to the United States in 1799 to grow their fortunes. E.I. du Pont founded the DuPont company in Delaware, 90 miles from where Richards still lives.

“Delaware became the early habitat of the du Ponts. It is often averred that they ‘own’ it. That they long have been the most influential family in Delaware is universally recognized,” B.C. Forbes wrote in 1937: “They have become so because they have done more for their home State than any other family has done for any other State. Their munificences have been and still are many-sided and magnitudinous.”

And the DuPont fortune, expanding with the company as it went from gunpowder maker to chemical behemoth, still supports some 3,500 members of the family, which has included such notables as Pierre S. “Pete” du Pont IV, who was governor of Delaware from 1977 to 1985. After a failed presidential bid in 1988, he became a partner in Richards, Layton & Finger, Delaware’s largest law firm, where Robert Richards’ father was reportedly also a partner.

The family also lays claim to infamous members such the sportsman and marine biologist John du Pont, who in 1996 murdered Olympic gold medal wrestler David Schultz on his 800-acre Main Line estate outside Philadelphia. Du Pont was found guilty of third-degree murder and went to psychiatric treatment in Pennsylvania’s Cresson state correctional facility. The only member of The Forbes 400 convicted of murder, he died in jail in 2010 at the age of 72. (The episode was dramatized in the 2014 film Foxcatcher; Steve Carell earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of du Pont.)

Richards now lives in a multi-bedroom house hidden behind tall trees in Hockessin, Delaware, according to the Delaware sex offender registry. Since his eight-year probation ended in January 2017, he appears to have maintained a low profile.

“The du Pont family—huge family—they had their crazy people...and they just took care of it,” says the source close to the Richards case, who points out that, at the least, Richards must pay a price his forebears never would have had to.

“[If] Richards [was] a generation before,” the source says, “nothing would have come to light.”
The Guardian, UK
written by Erin Brockovich
Thursday November 19, 2020

The president-elect has tapped a former DuPont consultant to join his Environmental Protection Agency transition board.

For years, I’ve been trying to impart a simple concept that Superman is not coming.

Dare I say, I had hopes that this new administration would usher in the dawning of a new day. As picks for President-elect Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team were announced, I felt concerned and disheartened about a chemical industry insider being on the list. Are you kidding me?

Michael McCabe, a former employee of Biden and a former deputy Environmental Protection Agency administrator, later jumped ship to work as a consultant on communication strategy for DuPont during a time when the chemical company was looking to fight regulations of their star chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) also known as C8. The toxic manmade chemical is used in everything from waterproof clothes, stain-resistant textiles and food packaging to non-stick pans. The compound has been linked to lowered fertility, cancer and liver damage. The Guardian reported this week that Harvard school of public health professor Philippe Grandjean, who studies environmental health, warns that PFAS chemicals, of which PFOA is one, might reduce the efficacy of a Covid-19 vaccine.

This smells of the dawn of the same old. To quote the Who: meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

It should go without saying that someone who advised DuPont on how to avoid regulations is not someone we want advising this new administration.

PFOA pollutes the blood of nearly every American and can pass from mother to unborn child in the womb. This toxic product of industry is a stable compound not easily broken down in the environment or in the human body, giving it the nickname “forever chemical”. Scientists have found it in living beings across the globe – from animals living in the depths of the sea to birds on remote islands.

The Environmental Protection Agency has set no enforceable national drinking water limits for perfluorinated chemicals, including PFOA. Tens of thousands of community drinking water systems across the country have never even tested for these contaminants.

McCabe started managing DuPont’s communications with the EPA about the toxic chemical in 2003, according to an article in the Intercept. This was the time in which DuPont faced a barrage of litigation after the company dumped 7,100 tons of PFOA-filled waste in West Virginia, which made its way into the drinking water of 100,000 people. Countless members of the community faced debilitating illnesses as a result. The legal battle with the company was turned into the film Dark Waters in 2019.

Mind you, DuPont suspected that their product was harmful since the 1960s – experiments they conducted in 1961 showed that PFOS affected the livers of dogs and rabbits. McCabe’s work inevitably contributed to staving off costly clean-up and additional regulation headaches for the company.

Are we the people supposed to trust a former DuPont man in a transition team tasked with reviewing the Chemical Safety Board? Is this how the newly elected leadership wants to start what is supposed to be a healing and unifying administration? Are we already falling back on the old and antiquated, hide-and-seek, conceal, dodge and deny leadership or are you going to come out and be the change and the hope needed when it comes to the environment?

I don’t see how picking someone from industry is moving us toward that goal.

The science is in. Research has linked exposure to this chemical to the following illnesses: kidney and testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension and high cholesterol.

This newly elected president says we need to listen to the science. Are you really listening to the science or are you listening to an industry insider, who is controlling the message?

With a lack of federal guidance on these dangerous chemicals, states have been left to create their own rules to enforce guidance and regulations. This chemical, and others like it, have been poisoning us for decades. Now is the time to act.

This is not about being rightwing or leftwing. It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you are on. We cannot keep making picks from this inside, leaving we the people, once again on the outside.

What will it take to get our leadership to work with the people?

Stop working against and separately from your communities. Put your transition team on the ground and make them talk with those affected by these chemicals. Go out and see for yourself, learn and hear from those who you represent about what the heck is happening to them on the ground – those living and breathing in the toxic mess we have created.

It is time to keep your promise and give the people a voice and a seat the table in order to find a meaningful solution for the environment and for the people. Don’t close the door on us again.

We are in this mess because we continue to do the same old thing.

Let us not forget where these chemicals came from and who is responsible for putting them in our environment. Let us not bring the fox back into the hen house. DuPont executives should have no place in the Environmental Protection Agency.

I call on Joe Biden to do the right thing.
Page Six
written by Emily Smith
Wednesday March 1, 2017

The widow of Joe Biden’s late son Beau Biden has started a romantic relationship with Beau’s brother Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s younger son.

Hallie was devastated when her husband, Beau, died after suffering from brain cancer in May 2015. But she has since struck up a romance with Beau’s brother Hunter, 47, who has separated from his wife, Kathleen. We’re told Hallie and Hunter are now officially a couple.

The astonishing family drama caps a difficult period for the Bidens following the death of Beau at age 46. The former vice president cited the death of his elder son as one of the reasons he decided in October 2015 against running for president.

Former Vice President Biden confirmed the relationship to Page Six and said that he and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, have given their blessing to the couple.

He told us in an exclusive statement, “We are all lucky that Hunter and Hallie found each other as they were putting their lives together again after such sadness. They have mine and Jill’s full and complete support and we are happy for them.”

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