(The Center Square) – Companies connected to the Biden family and their business associates received about $17 million, more than previously reported, from several foreign entities, an IRS whistleblower testified before Congress Wednesday.

The revelation came as Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley and Criminal Investigator Joseph Ziegler, two IRS employees with a combined 27 experience years at the agency, testified before Congress about Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes.

Ziegler responded to questions from House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., laying out about $17 million in alleged payments from 2014 to 2019 to roughly 20 shell companies from Romanian, Chinese and foreign other entities.

“The purpose of documenting the foreign sources is as part of a normal international tax investigation, we have to figure out where the money is coming from,” Ziegler said.

Comer argues those shell companies were used to funnel money from overseas as part of a “bribery scheme.”

“After foreign companies sent money to business associates’ companies, the Bidens then received incremental payments over time to different bank accounts,” Comer said at the hearing. “These complicated financial transactions were used deliberately to conceal the source of the funds and total amounts.”

Both Ziegler and Shapely told lawmakers that Hunter Biden received preferential treatment during the investigation and that the Department of Justice interfered in favor of the president and his son.

The president has repeatedly denied claims about financial wrongdoing in regards to international payments to his family or connected associates.

Shapley also said the case was intentionally slowed down and mismanaged as political appointees interfered.

As The Center Square previously reported, court documents released in June show Hunter Biden, who pleaded guilty to two federal misdemeanor tax-related charges, also faced a charge related to possessing a gun while being a drug user. That firearm charge, though, is now subject to a pretrial diversion agreement, meaning Hunter Biden’s lawyers struck a deal and that it is unlikely that Hunter Biden will receive time in prison for the gun charge.

Comer said the committee has gathered thousands of pages of financial records for its investigation, including bank records for the Biden family and their associates as well as “suspicious activity reports” compiled by Treasury officials.

“A lot of this money poured in while Joe Biden was Vice President,” Comer said at the hearing. “Despite creating many companies after Vice President Biden took office, the Biden family used business associates’ companies to receive millions of dollars from foreign companies in China, Ukraine, and Romania.”

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